The naming of Harvinder Singh Phoolka, a leading lawyer in Delhi who is known for his efforts to bring justice to the 1984 riots victims, as the Aam Aadmi Party candidate for the parliamentary elections from Ludhiana has left some local leaders unhappy, who abstained from the party's 'Jhadu chalao yatra' that was led by him on Sunday.
After the AAP decided to field him against Congress MP Manish Tewari, Phoolka got an encouraging response from the city residents and the announcement came when he was leading the rally in the city. After learning about the development, his supporters started raising slogans in favour of Phoolka and the AAP.
The party released the first nationwide list of 20 candidates at New Delhi on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Balbir Aggarwal, Ludhiana district secretary of AAP, who was also a frontrunner for Lok Sabha ticket stayed away from to the rally. He rather went to Mullanpur and Raikot to attend a similar rally.
Aggarwal said, "I will follow the directions of the party high command. I will support the candidate who has been given ticket for the parliamentary elections by the high command." He refrained from commenting on Phoolka's candidature.
Sources in AAP said Aggarwal was expecting Lok Sabha ticket from Ludhiana till the last moment as there were also reports that Phoolka would get it.
Taking a dig at Manish Tewari during the rally, Phoolka's said he (Tewari) rarely visited his constituency and did not care about the issues of the city residents. He said lack of basic facilities in the city had exposed the state government and the MP.
"Manish Tewari started visiting Ludhiana few months before the Lok Sabha elections. He never cared to visit the city before this," said Phoolka.
"I am sure that people of Ludhiana no longer want Tewari as their representative in Parliament," he said.
Defending the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi chief minister, Phoolka said that the party contested the Delhi polls on the issue of Jan Lokpal and formed government. "We will repeat our performance in the Lok Sabha elections," said Phoolka.
A large number of city residents and supporters were seen carrying brooms in their hands and following Phoolka-led rally.
AAP state convener Harjot Singh said, "Balbir Aggarwal is a senior leader of the party and was expecting ticket." Refuting the reports of friction among leaders, he said campaigning for Phoolka would be strengthened in the coming days as the party would go door to door to seek votes.