The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab as well as the Chandigarh seat, party chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday. News18 had earlier reported that there would be no alliance between the AAP and the Congress, both constituents of the INDIA bloc of opposition parties, in Punjab.
“Two years ago, you blessed us with 92 out of 117 seats (in the Assembly elections). You had a story written. Today, with folded hands, I seek your blessings again. The Lok Sabha elections will be held in two months. Punjab has 13 seats in the Lok Sabha and one seat in Chandigarh. In total there are 14 places. In the next 10-15 days, the AAP will declare candidates for all 14 Lok Sabha seats. I ask you to bless us the same way you did two years ago. Make AAP win in all 14 seats,” Kejriwal said at a rally in Khanna, Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab.
The AAP coordinator did not spare Congress, INDIA’s partner, in his appeal to voters. “In the last 75 years, Congress ruled for many years. If I ask you to tell me about a good job Congress has done, you’ll have a hard time remembering it. Akali Dal ruled for many years. If I ask you to tell me a good work by the Akalis, you won’t remember it. If I ask you what good work CM Bhagwant Mann has done in the last two years, you will tell me that he has made electricity free and available 24 hours a day, something they could not do in 75 years,” he said.
On February 13, the AAP’s top decision-making body, the Political Affairs Committee, will meet to finalize candidates for Goa, Gujarat and Haryana. Despite being a critical component of the INDIA bloc, the AAP has already unilaterally declared a candidate – Chaitar Vasava – from the Bharuch Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat.
It has also declared three candidates (Manoj Dhanowar, Bhaben Chowdhury and Rishi Raj) from Dibrugarh, Gawahati and Sonepat respectively in Assam.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak, a key negotiator in the talks within the INDIA bloc, said the party was “tired of talks” that led to “no consequence” and hoped that the other parties in the INDIA bloc ” will accept” AAP candidates. .
“I urge and request the INDIA block and all partners to resolve all pending and outstanding issues. All discussions on seat sharing must be sorted and concluded,” he stated. Specifically on Punjab, Pathak had said, “We have mutually decided that AAP and Congress would fight separately in the Punjab Lok Sabha elections.”
Crucially, this leaves only Delhi, where an AAP-Congress alliance is on the table. According to sources, if there is inordinate delay in finalizing seat sharing, the AAP will go ahead and declare candidates for Delhi, leaving one or two constituencies for the Congress.
Punjab Chief Minister Mann announced during the Kejriwal rally that the AAP would declare 13 candidates in Punjab and one in Chandigarh in the next 10-15 days. “We will win 14/14. You (voters) give us your support,” Mann said.
He also highlighted the controversial Chandigarh mayoral elections in his speech. “We will definitely win Chandigarh. You have already heard what the Supreme Court said about the Chandigarh mayoral elections. You heard how the votes were counted; how the BJP votes were not tampered with and our votes were declared invalid.”
“They annulled eight votes out of the 36 votes, that is, 25%. When they can cancel 25% of the votes by counting only 36 votes, what will they do when they count 90 million votes? Even the Supreme Court was stunned to see the images. we will face lathis
Lashing out at rival parties, including Congress, Mann said: “They have no agenda. Everyone is fighting each other. In Congress there are as many voices as there are people.”
The AAP and Congress had come together for the first time to jointly contest the Chandigarh mayoral elections. It was announced as the first test of the INDIA block.
The reasons for AAP and Congress to go it alone in Punjab are manifold. Congress has seven sitting deputies and will not settle for less than that number. AAP’s only success in the Lok Sabha elections came from Punjab and it believes it can get a good crop of seats in the state. The AAP is the ruling party in the state while the Congress is the main opposition and if the two come together, it would leave the opposition space wide open, giving Akalis a chance to revive. Lastly, the BJP is not that big a factor in Punjab.
Mann probed Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and said, “We are not like them. He (Sukhbir Badal) is in a ‘parivaar bachao yatra’No ‘Punjab bachao yatra’. Why should you save it? Punjab is over.”
Countering the opposition narrative that Punjab was being ruled from Delhi, Mann said Badal and (Partap Singh) Bajwa were a new category of “unemployed” who are now jobless, while he and Kejriwal were professionals who quit their jobs. to join. policy. Addressing the BJP, Mann said the party has “no prospects in Punjab” given the way it handled the farmers’ agitation in 2020.
Kejriwal and Mann also launched the government’s ambitious home delivery ration scheme in Fatehgarh. The scheme is among Kejriwal’s pet projects, but it could not be implemented in Delhi due to objections from the Centre, which said the Delhi government cannot use the foodgrains it provides for the scheme. This was later confirmed by the courts.
Later, the two addressed a rally at Khanna Mandi in Fatehgarh Sahib. Mann called it a “historic day” and said: “The quality of atta What will be given will be the same that all the ministers and I consume. It will not be leftover or spoiled flour.” He assured that his government had covered up the leaks in the system as if they were intermediaries who divert agricultural products.
“I had seen this dream 15 years ago. I used to work in the slums of Delhi before getting into politics. I saw how people’s rations were stolen. Since then we have been fighting,” Kejriwal said. “When we formed the government in Delhi, we tried to implement ‘Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana’ in Delhi. But suddenly, the BJP-ruled central government stopped it.”
Kejriwal said the plan would not be limited to Punjab and would be replicated across the country in five to 10 years. “No party or neta will have the courage to stop this. “It will be implemented in every state, in every corner of the country.”