Intensifying infighting in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Balkar Sidhu, whose nomination for the Talwandi Sabo bypoll was cancelled on Friday, turned a rebel and filed his papers as Independent on Saturday.
Balkar, who was earlier allotted ticket for the bypoll, is a close confidant of Sangrur and Faridkot MPs Bhagwant Mann and Sadhu Singh.
On Friday, the party took a U-turn by cancelling the ticket to Balkar Sidhu and allotting it to 29-year-old teacher Baljinder Kaur from Jagga Ram Tirath village. Baljinder Kaur also filed her nomination on Saturday. Both Bhagwant Mann and Sadhu Singh had strongly lobbied for Balkar's nomination. Later, charges of human trafficking forced the party to drop the idea of fielding him.
Bhagwant Mann was a friend of Balkar as both came from the entertainment industry. Sadhu Singh was a teacher of Balkar in Baljindra college, Faridkot.
Baljinder Kaur is a close aide of HS Khalsa, AAP MP from Fatehgarh Sahib. Now, it would be interesting to watch whether both Bhagwat Mann and Sadhu Singh will join the campaigning for Baljinder Kaur or not. Earlier, Bhagwant Mann had called Balkar Sidhu his youngest brother and assured victory for him.
It may be mentioned here that Bhagwant Mann had avoided campaigning in Bathinda during Lok Sabha elections against his former friend-cum-political mentor Manpreet Singh Badal, who was a Congress candidate against AAP's Jassi Jasraj.
"I will win this seat for AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal. Some people have engineered conspiracy against me and I will expose them. I was getting good response from the locals and it threatens the ruling party in the state. It may have led to conspiracy against me," said Balkar. "I accepted the party decision when Balkar Sidhu was given the ticket and I again respect AAP decision as I have been told to contest," said Baljinder Kaur.
When asked if Bhagwant Mann would turn up to campaign for her, she said, "He would definitely come. He is with me and surely join the campaigning." "I don't know about Bhagwant Mann, whom I respect. But it is sure that friends from every nook and corner of the state will surely campaign for me," said Balkar when asked about the people joining the campaigning for him.