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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

AAP MP Sadhu Singh's close aide assists Balkar in filing nomination papers

Kamaldeep Singh Brar, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, August 04, 2014
First Published: 23:18 IST(4/8/2014) | Last Updated: 08:29 IST(5/8/2014)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member of Parliament (MP) from Faridkot Sadhu Singh has been caught on a slippery pitch as one of his close aides and AAP's ad hoc committee member Sandeep Handa's pictures have been making rounds on social networking sites showing Handa assisting rebel Balkar Sidhu while filing nomination papers as Independent.

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These pictures have been uploaded on social media by none other than the former Faridkot AAP convener Jivanjot Kaur. Earlier, she had also written a hard-hitting letter to Sadhu Singh to ask his student (Balkar) to withdraw nominations as Independent against the AAP official candidate Baljinder Kaur.

Sandeep Handa had no clear answer when HT asked him why he, being a party office-bearer, accompanied Balkar Sidhu while filing nomination papers despite the fact that the party had given ticket to Baljinder Kaur after rejecting Balkar's candidature.

Handa said, "We have been working to pacify Balkar Sidhu. Even Sadhu Singh has been making all the efforts. We are very much sure that Bakar will take back his nomination in the last hours."

Like Balkar, Handa is a close aide of Sadhu Singh who, along with Faridkot MP Bhagwant Mann , had pressurized the AAP high command to secure the party ticket for Balkar. AAP later took a U-turn in view of allegations of human trafficking surfaced against Balkar.

However, the incident has also exposed the internal divide in AAP and it is an open war on social networking sites.

"Jivanjot is an ex-convener of the party. She runs her own webpage. The party has nothing to do with it," said Handa, in his defence. However, he could not disown the allegations and his pictures with Balkar.

Besides, in a defensive mode, MP Sadhu Singh made little attempt to protect Handa and said that photos were needed to be verified before taking any disciplinary action against Sandeep Handa.

He said he had contacted Balkar Sidhu to take back his nomination, but still no there was no response from him.

"He can take the nomination back but nothing could be said with certainty," said Sadhu Singh.

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