AAP vs BJP as Himachal leaders switch sides months before polls

Published on Apr 09, 2022 12:29 PM IST

The three leaders have expressed their disappointment with Arvind Kejriwal.

Aam Aadmi Party Himachal Pradesh unit president Anup Kesari, general secretary (organisation) Satish Thakur and Una district chief Iqbal Singh being welcomed into the BJP by party chief JP Nadda as Union minister Anurag Thakur looks on in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)
Aam Aadmi Party Himachal Pradesh unit president Anup Kesari, general secretary (organisation) Satish Thakur and Una district chief Iqbal Singh being welcomed into the BJP by party chief JP Nadda as Union minister Anurag Thakur looks on in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)
Written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre | Edited by Swati Bhasin

In a huge blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Himachal Pradesh, the state unit chief, Anup Kesari, along with other key leaders from the hill state - Satish Thakur and Iqbal Singh - joined the BJP on Saturday ahead of the upcoming state assembly elections. The leaders were inducted in the presence of party chief JP Nadda and union minister Anurag Thakur in Delhi.

Taking to Twitter, Anurag Thakur welcomed the top three leaders to the party. “Arvind Kejriwal does not pay attention to his party workers. Those who shed their sweat on the ground for eight years did not even get a chance to stand on their chariots. These AAP leaders have joined BJP for their self-respect and self-respect of Himachal,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The three leaders have also expressed their disappointment with Arvind Kejriwal. They have accused him of being “ignorant” during a roadshow in the Mandi constituency. “We have been working round the clock with utmost honesty and dedication for AAP for the past eight years in Himachal Pradesh. However, Arvind Kejriwal overlooked the state party workers when he came for a rally and roadshow in Mandi. In the hill state, AAP workers considered this ignorance as an insult and quit the party for self-respect,” said Anup Kesari while speaking to ANI. He further informed that they are “extremely disappointed” with Kejriwal. “He could not even turn his eyes towards us who work day and night for the party,” he said.

Also read: After Delhi, Punjab, it’s Himachal’s turn to bring in revolution: AAP chief Kejriwal

Other two leaders who joined BJP - Satish Thakur and Iqbal Singh - have also blamed Kejriwal for quitting the party. "We felt insulted and ignored during the roadshow on April 6. So, we decided to join BJP to work under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and serve the people of Himachal Pradesh," Satish Thakur told ANI.

Meanwhile, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal took a dig at the BJP on Saturday. “If BJP had worked honestly for the public, there would not have been so much fear, there would not have been a need to change the CM,” he wrote on Twitter in Hindi.

He added that “people have faith in AAP and the party will give an honest and patriotic government to Himachal Pradesh.”

Also read: AAP’s Ashok Tanwar to start state-wide tour from Jind today

AAP leader Manish Sisodia said complaints were received about the leaders, suggesting it was not a loss for the party. "At 12 o'clock in the night, BJP's National President (JP Nadda) and his Union Minister (Anurag Thakur) hold a press conference and include such a person of AAP party in the BJP, against whom the party had received complaints," ANI quoted him as saying.

After a whopping victory in Punjab, the AAP is now eyeing Himachal Pradesh where the assembly elections will be held by the end of 2022. Notably, AAP will contest all 68 seats in the state.

(With inputs from ANI)

 

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