In a setback to the Congress, Anu Randhawa, daughter of former Punjab minister and late Congress leader Jasjit Singh Randhawa joined the Aam Aadmi Party in Patiala on Thursday.
She made the move to protest against the decision of Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh of backing Madan Lal Jalalpur from Ghanaur assembly constituency. Anu, who had boycotted the March 7 Ghanaur rally by Amarinder, joined the AAP in the presence of party’s Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh and state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur.
She was unhappy with Amarinder, who had gone ahead with the rally in favour of Jalalpur despite her objection saying the rally should be held under the banner of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and not to project an individual.
Jalalpur was once loyalist of Jasjit Randhawa, but in the 2007 polls, he contested as a rebel candidate and defeated Randhawa. In 2012, he again got ticket from the Congress, while Randhawa was shifted to Dera Bassi, from where he lost. After Randhawa’s death in 2015, Anu started nurturing Ghanaur to claim the political legacy of her father. Anu was given prominence by former state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa, but as Amarinder took over the reins of the state Congress, he projected his loyalist Jalalpur as the candidate from Ghanaur. This led to Anu’s exit from the Congress.
Anu said she would work as a volunteer with the AAP as the party is giving due respect to all its workers.
Welcoming her into the party fold, Sanjay Singh said Congress leaders are miffed with Amarinder, who had lost connect with the public and was projecting only those with deep pockets. He said the party would give due respect to Anu and her team.
Meanwhile, Jalalpur said the decision would not affect the Congress. He claimed that in the past 10 years neither late Randhawa nor Anu had visited Ghanaur, while he represented the party during all elections.