The birth of AAP clones in Punjab

Suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi is set to form a regional political outfit, while Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan’s Swaraj Abhiyaan was launched last year


Dharamvira Gandhi on Tuesday said he will launch a party with focus around Punjab as key parties have failed to serve the interests of the state. Photo: Mohd Zakir/ Hindustan Times
Dharamvira Gandhi on Tuesday said he will launch a party with focus around Punjab as key parties have failed to serve the interests of the state. Photo: Mohd Zakir/ Hindustan Times

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is contesting the Punjab assembly elections for the first time, may face competition from its own former members.

Two new political outfits by former AAP members have been floated in the state.

Punjab has so far seen a two-cornered contest—the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance, which has been ruling the state since two terms, versus the Congress.

Suspended AAP Member of Parliament (MP) from Patiala, Dharamvira Gandhi, is set to launch a political platform in the state. This comes after Swaraj Abhiyaan, led by Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, announced its decision to float a political party last year.

Gandhi on Tuesday said he will launch a party with focus around Punjab as key parties have failed to serve the interests of the state.

“There is a need for a regional outfit in Punjab which can guard its interests on the lines of what the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Trinamool Congress and Biju Janata Dal do in their respective states,” he told reporters.

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The name of the political outfit will be declared next month. The outfit will contest the upcoming elections depending on its strength and support.

In August last year, Gandhi along with Lok Sabha MP Harinder Singh Khalsa were suspended from the party for alleged anti-party activities. The two had accused the Delhi unit of excessive control.

AAP has seen several controversies involving its senior state leadership and members of the Delhi legislative assembly in the past.

Swaraj Abhiyan, the organization started by former AAP members Yadav and Bhushan, decided to form a political party in October last year. The outfit took up farmers’ issues and tried its hand as a non-electoral political organization. The organisation had even decided to back an independent candidate in Punjab bypolls.

Before being expelled from the AAP in April last year, Yadav and Bhushan, founding members of the party, were seen as key decision makers in the organisation.

Punjab has 117 assembly constituencies and 13 seats in the Lok Sabha.

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