The Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday announced film actor Gul Panag as its Lok Sabha candidate from the Chandigarh seat.
Daughter of Lt Gen HS Panag (retd), the 35-year-old former Miss India has been espousing social causes, the reason AAP chose her.
Announcing her candidature at a press conference here, senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia said, “Panag was chosen as she has been actively involved in social issues. The politics in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana has been that of corruption. It’s only young candidates with a clean image who can bring about a change.”
Panag’s name was announced after the original choice Savita Bhatti had declined to contest within a week of having given the ticket, alleging lack of support by the party workers.
Addressing the media after the announcement at the Press Club here, Panag targeted both the Congress and BJP, saying the two parties had failed to deliver.
She said, “The Congress had a chance to perform but it did not. The country and Chandigarh are plagued by the same issues — dynastic politics, corruption, crony capitalism and communalism.”
She said there came a time in every country when change was brought about by the active participation of its people. “We are at a time where democracy needs to be more accountable and participative.”
She made it clear that it was not a battle against any individual but against the system. Panag said she would not indulge in mudslinging.
Dismissing the claims that she had got the ticket because of her celebrity status, Panag said, “I have my roots in the city and had moved to Mumbai to earn a living. My grandfather Col Shamsher Singh (retd) had settled here in 1965.”
Sisodia said Panag had not been chosen for her celebrity status; she is a commoner who has made it big in her profession.
In tears on seeing support
Wearing the trademark AAP cap and dark glasses, Gul interacted with the volunteers at the party office in Sector 21. “I was literally in tears when I saw so much of support.” It was all the more momentous for her as the day was her wedding anniversary.
The party office witnessed movement throughout as three candidates HS Phoolka from Ludhiana, Bhagwant Mann from Sangrur and Dr Dharamvira Gandhi from Patiala were introduced to the workers during the meeting which lasted for more than two hours.