While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is not contesting the municipal council elections in the state scheduled for February 25, several independent candidates in Mandi Ahmedgarh town of Sangrur district are cashing in on the popularity of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal by putting his pictures on their posters.
Though these contestants are not the official candidates of the AAP, they claim that they have been given the go-ahead by the local leadership to use Kejriwal's pictures.
Even the common man seems influenced by these candidates using the pictures of Kejriwal along with their own photos on the posters dotting the town. With poor road infrastructure, lack of potable water and many other problems, locals say that there was a need for a change in the political arena.
A total of 78 independent candidates are contesting the municipal council polls in 17 wards. Several independent candidates are using the pictures of Kejriwal and even AAP MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann.
Mohammad Anees, an independent candidate from Ward No 8, has used the picture of Kejriwal, Mann and even Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa. Anees claims that the AAP leaders from Ahmedgarh have asked him to use the pictures. He says the locals were fed up with the non-development policies of the present ruling alliance and wanted a change.
Rita Sharma, another independent candidate from Ward No 13, has also promised allround development for the residents. She has put pictures of Kejriwal on the posters.
The candidates are getting a lot of attention by putting the pictures of political leaders, but the AAP claims that they have not allowed anyone to use either their party sign or the pictures of any of their leaders.
Abjinder Sangha, Mann's office incharge, said no permission had been given to anyone to use the pictures of any leader. "The local SDM would be informed in case anyone is using the pictures or signs of the AAP at Mandi Ahmedgarh," Sangha said. firstname.lastname@example.org