AAP’s Punjab unit chief Bhagwant Mann today said some leaders and workers leaving the party was not going to impact its candidate’s prospects in the upcoming Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll. Joginder Singh Chinna, who had contested 2017 Punjab assembly polls on AAP ticket from Dinanagar seat, today joined BJP with his supporters in Pathankot. Yesterday, another AAP leader Kulbhushan Singh, who had contested 2017 assembly polls from Sujanpur seat, and party’s co-ordinator for the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha polls Lakhvir Singh, joined the Congress, along with their supporters in Pathankot. “There is not going to be any impact on the prospects of our candidate (Major General (Retd) Suresh Khajuria) in the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll because of some people leaving the party,” Mann said. “It is the voters who are to decide the fate of the contestant in any election,” he said.
The AAP Punjab chief refused to acknowledge that the switchover by its leaders and workers to other political outfits was a “setback” to the AAP as claimed by the BJP and Congress. “It was good that those, who were greedy for some posts and not following the party’s ideology, left on their own. They were complete misfit in the party’s structure,” Mann said, adding, it is the organisation which is supreme. The Sangrur MP also rubbished the allegation of Joginder Singh Chinna that Mann has transformed the AAP into a “private company”. “These are baseless allegations,” he said.
The AAP’s Punjab unit chief said Khajuria was an honest man and he had served the country for several years. Mann said all the party leaders and workers were holding ‘nukkad’ meetings in Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency to ensure Khajuria’s victory in the bye-election. Replying to a question, Mann said it was not decided yet whether AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will participate in the poll campaign ahead of the Gurdaspur byelection.
Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll, which was necessitated after the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna in April, will be held on October 11. Congress has fielded Sunil Jakhar while BJP has given ticket to businessman Swarn Salaria for Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll.