In a blow to AAP, two of its leaders join the SAD ahead of Punjab by-poll

In a possible blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, two of its leaders have joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ahead of the Shahkot by-poll, Times of India has reported. The by-poll is scheduled to take place on 28 May.

The two leaders namely HS Walia and Col C D Kamboj (retd) were inducted in the SAD on Sunday via different functions. HS Walia who is considered a senior party leader, joined the SAD in presence of party President Sukhbir Badal, in Jalandhar. Col Kamboj, on the other hand, joined via a public function in Nakodar.

In the 2017 assembly election in the state, Walia was an AAP candidate from Jalandhar Cantonment constituency and now claims that he joined the SAD for its pro-people policies and inclusiveness, reports Indian Express.

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He claims he joined the AAP owing to the party’s supposed idealism but soon realised that it had become “thoroughly corrupt”. He also proceeded to attack Kejriwal by alleging that AAP is run from Delhi by a dictatorial leader.

Col Kamboj, on the other hand, has had quite a few political associations in his time as a politician. He began his career with the BSP and became the party’s state President. He later switched over to the Congress and then in 2015 joined the AAP. Back then he had claimed that AAP was the only hope for people in Punjab.

Besides this, a New Indian Express report has claimed that the party might be in serious trouble in the state. As per the report, senior AAP leaders like state chief Bhagwant Mann are yet to campaign for the Shahkot by-polls. The leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira too campaigned just once for the party in the state. Incidentally, Mann had tendered his resignation as the state chief back in March but hasn’t been either discharging his duties or taking back his resignation.

The report also claims that a total of 70 AAP supporting families have switched to the SAD in Shahkot and various MLAs are miffed at Kejriwal for apologising to Bikram Majitha over his drug-related allegations during the state polls.

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