The acronym underlines the acrimony. Sacked Punjab convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Sucha Singh Chhotepur will launch his new political outfit on October 1. The party — Apna Punjab Party (APP) — will be registered as a state party with the Election Commission and will either filed or support candidates on all 117 seats in the forthcoming assembly polls in the state.
Chhotepur will head the party and is expected to resign from the AAP on Wednesday. To begin with, the party is collaborating with the fourth front of suspended AAP MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi. “Apna Punjab will not subsume Dr Gandhi’s group, but bind with it as an alliance,” Chhotepur told HT. Chhotepur met Dr Gandhi in Jalandhar on Tuesday and the modalities of the collaboration were worked out.
“Candidates will be chosen keeping in view the wishes of alliance partners,” he added. Gandhi’s umbrella front includes the Volunteer front Punjab, Democratic Swaraj Party as also some Left-oriented and Dalit groups.
Chhotepur said he was not sure if cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu will be joining him. “Anyone who wants to work for a solely Punjab-centric party is welcome to join us. It is for Sidhu, Pargat Singh and the Bains brothers to decide what they have to do,” he said.
When contacted, Pargat said he could not comment at this stage if he along with the others will join Chhotepur. “We are yet to decide on this matter,” he said.
During his talks with Pargat, Chhotepur is said to have even offered Sidhu to be the chief ministerial face of his party. “We have done the best we could during our talks. No the ball is in their court,” said Chhotepur.
The former Punjab AAP convener will announce the Apna Punjab state committee and heads of various wings during its formal launch on October 1 at Chandigarh. Several AAP volunteers, including the seven zonal chiefs, who left replaced by the AAP for backing Chhotepur, are expected to join the new outfit.
The party will have to show the membership of a 100 men as is the requirement of the Election Commission of India for its registration. “There is no dearth of persons wanting to become members. Over 85 volunteers of AAP had tendered their resignation along with Gurinder Singh Bajwa, the former AAP zonal chief from Amritsar.
The name Apna Punjab Party has been finalised with an intention of having the word Punjab in the name to give the party a local character. “It is a party for Punjab created by Punjabis,” said Chhotepur. The ‘Apna’ (ours) word, other than what it means, is also obviously derived from the AAP, the party whose breaking has led to its creation. Following the formal launch of the party, the registration process will begin and an application moved to the EC.