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AAP fields candidates on only 35% zila parishad seats in Malwa

Of 83 zila parishad seats in six districts of Faridkot, Muktsar, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Bathinda and Moga, the AAP has fielded candidates on only 30 seats.

punjab Updated: Sep 10, 2018 15:11 IST
Gagandeep Jassowal 
Gagandeep Jassowal 
Hindustan Times, Faridkot
AAP,Malwa,zila parishad
Half of the party MLAs from Malwa region have been camping with AAP rebel legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira. (HT File Photo)

Factionalism in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has meant that it will contest only 35% of zila parishad polls in six districts of Malwa. The party is contesting the September 19 zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls on its party symbol. Of 83 zila parishad seats in six districts of Faridkot, Muktsar, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Bathinda and Moga, the AAP has fielded candidates on only 30 seats.

Notably, half of the party MLAs from Malwa region have been camping with AAP rebel legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira. These are Baldev Singh from Jaitu, Jadev Singh Kamalu from Maur, Nazar Singh Manshahia from Mansa. Khaira has already branded panchayat samitis and zila parishads as toothless bodies.

The district-wise figures for AAP candidates are four of 10 in Faridkot; six of 13 in Muktsar; five of 15 in Fazilka, one of 14 in Ferozepur, nine of 16 in Bathinda and five of 15 in Moga. Interestingly, in Faridkot district, the party sends two MLAs of the three constituencies. MP Sadhu Singh is also from the party.

‘Prevented from filing papers’

AAP Ferozepur district president Ranbir Bhullar alleged, “The ruling party did not allow our workers to file papers in Zira, Guru Har Sahai and Ferozepur City. In rural areas, ruling party candidates tore nomination papers of our candidates.”

AAP state co-president Dr Balbir Singh said, “If the ballot papers of our workers had not been torn in Ferozepur, Moga and other places, we will have fielded candidates on 80% seats.” “District presidents were empowered to field candidates qualifying the party’s criteria,” added leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema. He added that candidates had been fielded on all seats in Dirba, his constituency.

A senior party functionary claimed, “The rebel group that Khaira leads held several successful rallies in Malwa, including the Bathinda convention, dividing the volunteers.”

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 15:10 IST