Lok Sabha Elections 2019: AAP in dilemma over selection of Patiala candidate
The Aam Aadmi Party is facing a political void in Patiala after sitting MP Dharamvira Gandhi left the party and floated his own political outfit “Nava Punjab Party”.Updated: Apr 02, 2019 13:27 IST
Already facing leadership crisis in Patiala, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is in dilemma over selection of candidate from the Lok Sabha constituency.
Though AAP’s core committee is holding discussions, it is yet to finalise the candidate. The AAP is facing a political void in Patiala after sitting MP Dharamvira Gandhi left the party and floated his own political outfit “Nava Punjab Party”. Gandhi’s outfit is part of Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) that has already announced him as its candidate.
“We are holding discussions and will soon finalise the candidate. We are hopeful that the party will repeat its 2014 performance,” AAP core committee head Budh Ram said, adding that the party will name candidates for the remaining five seats within a week. The AAP has already announced candidates for eight Lok Sabha seats.
The names doing the rounds for the Patiala Lok Sabha seat include AAP’s trade wing president Neena Mittal, union leader Hari Singh Tohra, Col Bhalender Singh (retd), Harkesh Sidhu and AAP’s co-convener Balbir Singh.
“Filling the void of Dr Gandhi is one of major challenges for the AAP in Patiala. Besides, the party has performed miserably in the recent elections be it assembly polls civic bodies or rural elections,” said a party leader.
In 2014, Gandhi got the better of three-time Congress MP and former Union minister Preneet Kaur and then SAD-BJP nominee Deepinder Singh Dhillon. He won the election with a convincing margin of 20,929 votes.
Meanwhile, AAP’s opponents, including Preneet Kaur, whose candidature is yet to be announced by the Congress high command, PDA’s Dharamvira Gandhi and Shiromani Akali Dal’s Surjit Singh Rakhra, have already stepped up their election campaigns.
POOR TRACK RECORD
In 2015 by-elections, the party lost miserably as AAP candidate Harjit Singh Adaltiwala polled only 5,724 votes. Even in 2017 assembly polls, AAP candidate Balbir Singh got only 20,179 votes, while Captain Amarinder Singh polled 72,586 votes and SAD candidate general JJ Singh remained at third spot with 11,677 votes.
The AAP, which contested the rural polls for the first time in 2018, failed to open its account. In the same year, 42 AAP candidates lost their security deposit in the Patiala MC elections.
First Published: Apr 02, 2019 13:27 IST