5 days after ticket, AAP candidate Darbari Lal goes back to Congress
The AAP, which had given the ticket to the turncoat on January 6 after replacing its leader Rajinder Kumar, has now claimed that Darbari was ousted over corruption charges. Also, it has now named its third candidate from the segment, former Congress councillor Ajay Gupta.punjab Updated: Jan 11, 2017 19:16 IST
First, the Congress, then the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and then the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), but only until Wednesday, when Darbari Lal, AAP’s candidate from Amritsar Central, completed the circle and rejoined the Congress.
The AAP, which had given the ticket to the turncoat on January 6 after replacing its leader Rajinder Kumar, has now claimed that Darbari was ousted over corruption charges. Also, it has now named its third candidate from the segment, former Congress councillor Ajay Gupta.
At first, after pictures of Darbari rejoining the Congress in New Delhi emerged, AAP state convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich ‘Ghuggi’ had first said that 80-year-old Darbari’s ill-health was the reason for cancellation of his AAP ticket. A former three-time Congress MLA from Amritsar Central who also remained deputy speaker of the state assembly, Darbari was reportedly in hospital ever since he was given the AAP ticket.
But, later in the day at a press conference, AAP spokesperson Himmat Singh Shergill cited allegations of corruption against Darbari “in a prime land case” as the reason. Shergill said Darbari was asked to respond to these allegations, “but instead of giving answers, he joined the Congress.” The AAP has named its first candidate only on January 5, while Darbari had been named as replacement a day later.
Darbari’s flip-flops began after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when he joined the BJP. But he remained in contact with Congressmen. His AAP stint was cut short when he rejoined the Congress in the presence of state unit chief Capt Amarinder Singh, MLA Raj Kumar Verka and senior leader Harish Chaudhary.
But he may not fight the election now. The Congress has already announced OP Soni as its candidate from Amritsar Central. The party felt that Darbari may damage Congress prospects by dividing the anti-incumbency vote against SAD-BJP.
Darbari told HT: “I had got the ticket from the AAP but my old Congress friends and others advised me to go back to my party. I have been with the Congress for many decades, so I am happy now.”
First Published: Jan 11, 2017 19:13 IST