A day after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) released its second list of 13 candidates for the upcoming Punjab assembly elections, suspended AAP leader and Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi on Friday announced to float a new, “regional” party on August 23.
“Punjab needs a regional party as the Shiromani Akali Dal has failed to protect the interests of state. Akalis have ignored the farmers and labourers and have stakes in real estate, hotels chains, and the transport and liquor trade. I will float a party which will work for the welfare of Punjab,” said Dr Gandhi.
He is aiming at uniting like-minded outfits which are against the Congress, Akalis and AAP. He is hoping that rebel members of the AAP will also join his outfit, which he will announce in Chandigarh on Tuesday. As of now, it is different from the Swaraj Abhiyan of former AAP leader Yogendra Yadav which plans to formally turn into a party on October 2, as also from the Abhiyan’s estranged Punjab unit, Swaraj Lehar, which has already turned into a party but not moved further than an announcement.
“The people of Punjab reposed faith in the AAP, but it has now deviated from its path and has joined the mad race to attain power. The local leadership is being ignored and the real issues, such as corruption and changing the system, have taken a backseat,” said Dr Gandhi. “I appeal well-wishers of Punjab, including individuals, political groups, organisations and intelligentsia, to join hands under a common banner for the welfare of the state,” he added.
Meanwhile, AAP volunteers objected to the candidature Gurdev Singh Dev from Nabha by terming him an outsider. The volunteers raised their objection at a meeting chaired by Patiala district coordinator Balbir Singh. “Why have you sent a parachute leader? it will demoralise the party workers,” said an AAP worker.
AAP ticket aspirants from Sanaur — Harjeet Singh Adaltiwala, Gurbans Singh Punia and five others — objected the ticket to Balbir Singh.