Fault lines have appeared in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after it released a list of 19 of its candidates for the assembly elections in Punjab, earlier this week.
The party’s Punjab convenor, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, has spoken against certain exclusions, saying workers have objections with some of the names, which they wanted in the list, being kept out.
Chhotepur was not present at the press conference when Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh announced the party’s first list on August 4. Though the party has declared just 19 of its 117 candidates for the Punjab polls, the list excluded some names Chhotepur was backing.
Sources said former IFS officer Hardeep Singh Kingra, a confidant of Chhotepur and chief of the party’s finance committee in Punjab, resigned from the party a day before the list was released because he was denied a ticket. Immediately after quitting, Kingra levelled allegations against the party’s leadership in Delhi.
A senior leader in Delhi said Kingra was told he would not be given a ticket despite Chhotepur backing him. The Punjab chief is also upset that the party did not consider his recommendations on other tickets. “Like other parties, we don’t have quotas in ticket distribution for senior leaders,” the AAP leader said hinting at possible disciplinary action if he persisted with the demand. Last year, the party had suspended two of its four lawmakers in Lok Sabha for going against party line .
Chhotepur, however, said he was only venting the workers’ anger. “I personally don’t have any objections but the workers are objecting to certain names. Other parties have money and political power, our strength is our workers, we cannot afford to upset them,” he told HT.
While the Sanjay Singh, denied any disagreement between him and Chotepur, he said the party would not make any changes to the announced names.