The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will contest the 2017 assembly elections in Punjab on its own, senior party leader and member of Parliament Bhagwant Mann said on Tuesday. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of 'Punjab Bachao' rally in the town on Tuesday.
"The AAP has decided that it will not enter into an alliance with any other party in the country. Other parties can merge in the AAP. In Punjab, the party will go it alone," he added.
While addressing the gathering at the rally, Mann said, "People of the state have made up their mind to throw out the Badal government."
In an apparent rebuttal to statements by former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh that Punjab's AAP leaders had no experience of governance, Mann said, "Punjab's residents are fed up with the governance of experienced people. AAP leaders are very effective in governance."
Without naming anybody, Mann said, "AAP leaders do not have the experience of corruption, the experience of remaining absent from Parliament and the experience of pleasure trips to hills stations."
He added that the AAP would start a Punjab dialogue on the pattern of Delhi and prepare its manifesto for the elections by talking to people.
Replying to a query, Mann said, "I am not a chief ministerial candidate from the AAP for the 2017 polls. A decision on the face of the party will be taken by the party."
AAP Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chotepur said, "The SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress have failed the state. People are looking towards the AAP to provide an alternative."
Senior AAP leaders including organisational in-charge Durgesh Pathak; Himmat Singh Shergill; Jasbir Singh Dhaliwal; Shenaz Jaihind; Chandan Singh; Deepak Tomar; Rajinder Sharma, Gurmail Singh Bara and Bhag Singh Madan also spoke on the occasion.
Right to Information (RTI) activist Dinesh Chadha also joined the rally, along with his supporters.