A day after some AAP workers released an audio clip in which MP Bhagwant Mann purportedly can be heard inciting some workers to burn effigies and protest against Gurbinder Singh Kang and HS Phoolka, party’s candidates from Baghapurana and Dakha respectively in Punjab polls last year, Kang Thursday said AAP lost many seats in Punjab polls just because of Mann’s greed to become the chief minister.
Kang (64), a close aide of Phoolka, said at a press conference in Ludhiana, “He removed each hurdle from his own path and conspired against his own party candidates. He could not tolerate any other candidate getting more limelight or popularity than him.”
Kang, who lost to Congress candidate Darshan Singh Brar from Baghapurana by 7,200 votes, said he knew about Mann’s intentions since long but he and Phoolka preferred to keep quiet for party’s welfare. “We did not want to stoop to his level and create problems, but we knew he was working against us in every possible way”.
Asked about Mann purportedly mentioning in the audio clip about Arvind Kejriwal’s support for protest against him, Kang said, “I cannot trust his words. I cannot say that Kejriwal was involved in conspiracy against me because I do not have any proof for same. Maybe, he was saying that just to impress the worker, to show that national convenor Kejriwal is also in his pocket and he is the king of party in Punjab.”
He claimed that leaders like Navjot Singh Sidhu and Pargat Singh also did not join because of Mann.
“He simply worked to keep everyone popular out of AAP so that his chances of being CM are not hurt especially Phoolka. He would arrive drunk at rallies and meetings and this created a very wrong impression among workers and people and our votes were reduced. Initial ground support could not convert into votes. Even Sidhu and Pargat Singh did not join because of him,” said Kang.