AAP ticket to Phoolka fuels talk of dissent

  • Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Feb 18, 2014 10:15 IST

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) naming leading lawyer Harvinder Singh Phoolka as its candidate for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency has left some local leaders unhappy.

Phoolka, known for his admirable efforts to bring justice to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, was named in the party's first list of 20 candidates announced on Sunday for the Lok Sabha elections at Delhi. He will be pitted against Congress MP Manish Tewari.

As the announcement came when he was leading the Jhadu Chalao Rally, an awareness campaign by the party, in the city, his supporters cheered him with slogans. Balbir Aggarwal, AAP's Ludhiana district secretary, a frontrunner for the ticket, stayed away from the rally and instead went to Mullanpur and Raikot to attend a similar rally.

When asked, he, however, refrained from commenting on Phoolka's candidature and said: "I will follow the directions of the party high command. I will support the candidate chosen by the party."

Later, taking a dig at Tewari, Phoolka's said the former rarely visited his constituency and did not care about issues of the city residents. "Manish Tewari started visiting Ludhiana only a few months ago, clearly with an eye on the Lok Sabha elections. He never cared to visit the city before. I am sure, people of Ludhiana no longer want Tewari as their representative in the Parliament," Phoolka told a crowd of supporters, several of them seen carrying brooms in their hands.

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