Claiming that ‘some media persons’ were giving undue importance to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), All-India Congress Committee general secretary Shakeel Ahmad on Monday said that AAP would not be a factor in the assembly polls in the state and would not harm any political party’s interests.
Speaking to the media after paying obeisance at the Guru Ravidass Temple on his 639th birth anniversary, he claimed, “No major leader from the Congress has or would leave the party to join the AAP. The AAP has proved a failure in New Delhi and yet the media in Punjab gives undue importance to it. The AAP is actually a group of disgruntled leaders.”
“I hesitate to say this, but the reality is that journalists like Ashutosh, Ashish Khetan and other, who used to host debates, later turned AAP activists. The media can check that after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when AAP had won four seats in Punjab, its graph had nosedived,” he claimed, adding that in the four bypolls in 2014 later, AAP candidates had forfeited their security deposit in two and after that the party did not contest the next two bypolls.
“As far as those who joined the AAP by leaving the Congress is concerned, these leaders quit as they were sure that the Congress won’t give them a chance to contest the election. Thus, there is no harm if such leaders quit the party. This time, we will give tickets to deserving candidates only,” he added.
He also said the media should present the fact that the AAP was a bunch of disgruntled leaders, most of whom had joined the party as they would not get a ticket from the Congress or the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
“In the 2017 state assembly polls, the Congress will give tickets to young Dalit leaders. Dalits have remained the backbone of the party and they know that only the Congress would give them real representation in decision-making,” he claimed.