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Ex-BJP MLA Gugan Singh joins AAP ahead of Bawana bypoll

Former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Bawana, Gugan Singh, joined the Aam Aadmi Party along with his supporters on Sunday in presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders. It is a major setback to the BJP as bypoll in the assembly constituency is scheduled for August 23.

delhi Updated: Jul 31, 2017 00:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Bawana bypoll,Gugan Singh,BJP MLA joins AAP
Former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Bawana, Gugan Singh (centre), joined the Aam Aadmi Party along with his supporters on Sunday in presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other senior party leaders.(Handout)

Former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Bawana, Gugan Singh, joined the Aam Aadmi Party along with his supporters on Sunday in presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other senior party leaders.

The development is a major setback to the BJP as bypoll in the assembly constituency is scheduled for August 23. The assembly segment is one of the 12 reserved seats in the city for Scheduled Castes and Singh is a prominent Dalit face of the saffron party in the outer Delhi areas.

Singh won the seat in 2013 assembly elections while he emerged second in 2015 polls, losing to AAP legislator Ved Parkash — a former BJP leader who switched sides ahead of the assembly polls.

The bypoll has been necessitated after AAP legislator Ved Parkash quit the assembly to rejoin the BJP just ahead of the municipal elections in April. The BJP has named Parkash as its candidate for the bypolls.

Sources in the BJP said Singh was ‘unhappy’ with the party’s decision to deny him ticket and field Parkash in the fray.

“Singh tried to raise the issue with the top leadership. However, he failed to impress. It will surely impact party’s poll prospects,” a senior Delhi BJP leader said.

Realising the importance of the big catch, the top leadership of the party including chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, health minister Satyendar Jain and Sanjay Singh were present at Singh’s residence for his formal induction in the party.

Party sources said it was one of the conditions laid by the former BJP leader.

“He holds lot of clout in the villages where such symbolisms are considered part of the culture of granting respect. The optics was important in that sense,” a senior party leader said.

AAP leaders said Singh has joined the party unconditionally. AAP has already named Ramchandar as its candidate for the bypoll.

“The party is fortunate that a leader like Gugan Singh has joined AAP as he is very popular in villages and the colonies. The only condition he has laid is ensuring development in Bawana assembly. We has assured him on that front,” said Kejriwal.

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 00:00 IST