There was no chance of an alliance between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the SAD (Taksali) as AAP is not in a position to cancel the Anandpur Sahib ticket it has granted to Narinder Shergill “who is the main financier of the party,” Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) president Sukhpal Khaira Monday said.
Speaking to The Indian Express here today, Khaira said that Shergill was keeping AAP afloat financially in Punjab and there was no chance that his ticket would be cancelled in favour of Bir Devinder Singh, the SAD (Taksali) candidate. “I have also learnt that Shergill has promised Rs 25 crore contribution to the campaign of AAP president Bhagwant Mann in Sangrur. Do you think the party could say no to him?,” he asked.
The alliance talks between the Taksalis and AAP had broken down after the former insisted that the Anandpur Sahib ticket would remain with Bir Devinder Singh. AAP had already announced the name of Shergill from the seat. On the hand, Shergill had gone on the offensive and announced that regardless of the alliance he would fight the Lok Sabha polls from Anandpur Sahib constituency.
Khaira also alleged that Punjabi NRIs had stopped giving funds to AAP as a result of which the party was in dire financial trouble. “They have not been able to pay their social media workers on time and recently a transporter who had provided buses for the Barnala rally of (Delhi chief minister) Arvind Kejriwal, protested outside the official residence of the Leader of Opposition (LoP), Harpal Cheema, to demand his dues,” he alleged.
Contacted, a livid Harpal Cheema said that Khaira had nothing better to do than level baseless allegations against the AAP. “Why does he not make similar allegations against the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Congress and ask about their source of funds? This is because he is hand in glove with them. What if I were to say that Khaira took crores from the party in power to fight Lok Sabha polls from Bathinda,” countered Cheema.
He defended Shergill as the party candidate from Anandpur Sahib saying that he was sidelined during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and in 2017 assembly elections his seat got changed from Kharar to Mohali.
“Why doesn’t Khaira talk about the fact that both, SAD and Congress governments have defended him over the summons he received in connection with a drugs smuggling case in Fazilka? Punjab government counsel has sought a number of adjournments in the Supreme Court in this case. Why is the state government doing so? Why is the Congress government spending crores to save him,” said Cheema demanding Khaira should answer these questions.