Buoyed by its outstanding performance in Punjab in the Lok Sabha polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to contest the Dhuri byelection. The seat fell vacant after Congress’ Arvind Khanna resigned as MLA.
The AAP Member of Parliament from Sangrur, Bhagwant Mann, claimed that the people would punish the Congress as well as the ruling SAD-BJP alliance that had forced the by-election on the residents of the Dhuri constituency.
Earlier, byelections were held in Moga and Talwandi Sabo after the resignation of Congress MLAs who joined the SAD. “They are deceiving the people. Politicians are making a mockery of democracy and people’s mandate”, the MP said.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has already made it clear the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will fight from the seat as it had also contested it in 2012 and the name of the candidate will be finalised after the date is announced.
The SAD is likely to field Gobind Singh Longowal, a former MLA, or Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s daughter-in-law for the Dhuri bypoll.
However, the SAD’s alliance partner BJP is staking its claim for the seat to prevent the SAD from getting absolute majority in the assembly, stating that the SAD’s performance was not very well in Dhuri during the election in 2012.
MP Bhagwant Mann also stated that the system of holding byelections should be done away with. “If the elected MLA resigns or dies, the candidate on the second position during the Assembly elections should be administered oath as MLA,” he said.
He said if a Rajya Sabha member was defeated in the Lok Sabha elections, he or she should be made to vacate the Rajya Sabha seat and should not be allowed to hold public office.
He said the Election Commission should take action against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for holding Sangat Darshan functions in the Dhuri constituency after the resignation of the sitting MLA.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders from Sangrur are also approaching the party’s Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, but the latter has said that the party will decide the candidate after Delhi assembly polls.