Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Bathinda Urban candidate Deepak Bansal, who on Tuesday attributed his defeat to the party’s senior leadership cosying up to Sikh radicals, has now expressed “regret” for his statement.
“I regret what I said... We (AAP) are a secular party and it is because of the support of all religious communities and social groups that the party got a huge 24% vote share and became the main opposition in Punjab, and I wish for their continued support in times to come as well,” said Deepak in a statement on Thursday.
JARNAIL SEEKS CLARIFICATION
Earlier in the day, AAP senior leader Jarnail Singh talked to Deepak on phone and sought a clarification from him on the issue.
Jarnail told HT the party was grateful to Sikh religious groups for their open support in the assembly polls. “We are thankful to them and the party is always by their side for their struggle to get justice in the sacrilege incidents,” he said.
Deepak, too, said he “highly respected” the Sikh preachers and was thankful to them for their support to the party. He had said on Tuesday that the Hindu community in Bathinda had drifted away from the AAP due to its leaders cosying up to Sikh radicals.
The AAP had fielded Deepak as a fresh face, considering the nearly 40% Hindu vote bank in Bathinda Urban. He lost the elections to Congress’ Manpreet Badal by 18,480 votes.