On Friday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) unveiled its initial list of ten candidates for the Punjab assembly elections, which will take place early next year. All ten are current legislators who have been removed from their current positions.
Harpal Singh Cheema, the AAP legislature party’s leader, has been nominated for the Dirba assembly constituency, while his deputy Saravjit Kaur Manuke has been nominated for the Jagraon assembly constituency. According to the list released by AAP state unit chief Bhagwant Mann and Punjab affairs in-charge Jarnail Singh, Jai Kishan Rori from Garhshankar, Manjeet Bilaspur from Nihal Singh Wala, Kultar Singh Sandhwan from Kotkapura, Baljinder Kaur from Talwandi Sabo, Budhram from Budhlada, Aman Arora from Sunam, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer from Barnal Each of the ten legislators is a first-timer.
Ruby joins Congress, and Hissowal praises CM, leaving Ruby red-faced
After Rupinder Kaur Ruby, the party’s incumbent MLA from Bathinda Rural (reserved), defected to the Congress on Wednesday, Jagtar Singh Jagga Hissowal, who represents Raikot (reserved), openly endorsed chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi in the state assembly, the party announced the list. Hissowal later stated that he will not join the Congress, but his actions have angered the AAP leadership.
Harpal Cheema, who had joined the Congress after Ruby left the AAP, had indicated that she would not be able to get an AAP ticket. When party leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira rebelled against the AAP leadership, both Ruby and Hissowal backed him.
Five years on, down from 20 to 11 AAP MLAs
The AAP won 20 seats in 2017, but its effective strength has dropped to 11, with five MLAs joining the Congress, including Khaira. Kanwar Sandhu has been suspended, while HS Phoolka has resigned from politics. Baldev Singh and Amarjit Sandoa, the last two, have been in and out of the party, and their candidacy has yet to be confirmed. Last Monday, Baldev Singh was disqualified from the state legislature.