Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) activist Vikram Dhanaula, who was arrested for hurling a shoe at Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on August 15 last year, will fight the Dhuri by-election on April 11.
He announced here on Thursday that he would contest as Independent for giving a “befitting reply” to the ruling Akali-BJP combine for its misrule. He will launch his campaign formally after filing nomination on Friday when he has asked his supporters to gather at Dhuri’s Malerkotla Bridge.
“I decided to contest after three-day visit to Dhrui, where I found that the people were fed up with the Akali and Congress leaders. They want an alternative,” said Dhanaula, who hit the headlines when he hurled a shoe at the CM during a function in Ludhiana. He was frequently aboard the SUV of AAP MP Bhagwant Mann in the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign.
Asked if he regretted that the AAP had decided not to contest the bypoll, he said perhaps a defeat here would hit the party prospects in 2017. “But there is a strong sentiment against traditional political parties,” said the man who had been on hunger strike at Jantar Mantar for release of Sikh prisoners, a major Panthic issue in Punjab.
“My defeat will be no loss to the AAP, but my victory will be credited to it,” he said, adding: “My aim is not to be an MLA but to expose corruption.”