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Shahkot bypoll: AAP roadshow gets tepid response, Sisodia fails to turn up

The bypoll, scheduled to be held on Monday, was necessitated by the death of former MLA and SAD leader Ajit Singh Kohar. Delhi MLAs Alka Lamba and Naresh Yadav started the roadshow from Lohian Khas village and they were joined by Mann.

punjab Updated: May 26, 2018 12:23 IST
Parampreet Singh Narula
Parampreet Singh Narula
Hindustan Times, Shahkot
Shahkot bypoll,AAP roadshow,Bhagwant Mann
Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann with party candidate Rattan Singh Kakkarwal (left) during a road show in Shahkot.(Pardeep Pandit/HT)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s roadshow, led by its star campaigner and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, got a tepid response in the poll-bound Shahkot constituency on Friday.

Mann used to gather huge crowds in his rallies until the 2017 assembly election. Also, senior party leader and Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who was expected to be part of the roadshow to canvass for their candidate Rattan Singh Kakkarkalan, failed to turn up.

The bypoll, scheduled to be held on Monday, was necessitated by the death of former MLA and SAD leader Ajit Singh Kohar. Delhi MLAs Alka Lamba and Naresh Yadav started the roadshow from Lohian Khas village and they were joined by Mann.

Mann, who had earlier said that the party should not have contested the bypoll and instead focus on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, canvassed in the segment for the first time after poll campaign kicked off.

Mann, while addressing the media, said he was out of the country due to which he couldn’t come to campaign for Kakkarkalan, but state’s entire AAP leadership has canvassed for the party candidate.

“SAD and the Congress are two sides of the same coin and if people want to eradicate corruption from the state, they should vote for AAP,” Mann said.

On the charges of illegal sand mining against Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia, Mann said it will be for the first time that someone who was booked is roaming free while who registered the case was put in jail.

Leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira also joined the roadshow for a while. Though several cars were part of the roadshow, which concluded in Mehatpur, people didn’t even choose to come out of their houses.

Party’s Doaba president Paramjit Singh Sachdeva claimed the roadshow was successful. As why Sisodia failed to turn up, Sachdeva said he had to hold an emergency meeting in Delhi due to which he had to cancel his Shahkot visit.

After the episode of AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tendering an apology to Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia over drug charges, the party has suffered a big jolt with a number of leaders having either switched to SAD or the Congress in the run-up to the bypoll.

First Published: May 26, 2018 12:23 IST