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‘Dropped’ AAP leader polled 17,000 votes

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 09, 2013
First Published: 01:17 IST(9/12/2013) | Last Updated: 12:33 IST(10/12/2013)

Even though the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sent poll predictions for a toss and most of its candidates put up a good show, there was one whose victory would have put the party in a piquant situation.

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On November 27, the party "dropped" its "tainted, but not convicted" candidate from Rajouri Garden, Pritpal Singh Saluja.

But since the last date for withdrawal of candidature was already over by then, Saluja couldn’t be dropped officially.

Still, Saluja did not fare too badly. Nearly 17,022 votes were polled in his name and he came third, though the AAP doesn’t "own" it.

"My name figured in a criminal case in which I was falsely implicated, forcing the party to drop me. But for this controversy, I would not have had any fight. Despite the party asking people not to vote for me, I got more than 17,000 votes. I still thank my voters for their support," said a visibly disappointed Saluja.  

"After the news of my being dropped broke, about 5,000 people came to my residence and stayed put till 2.30 in the night. They wanted me to keep fighting and gift the victory to the party. I honour the party’s decision but I also respect my people," Saluja said.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa of the Shiromani Akali Dal defeated A Dhanwati Chandelaa of Congress by 11,008 votes in the constituency.

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