Four-time Cong MLA Parlad Sawhney joins AAP
New Delhi: Former Congress MLA Parlad Singh Sawhney joined Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday. He was inducted into the party-fold by AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh.
Sawhney (68) said he decided to join the party as he was impressed by AAP’s work in the past five years.
The four-time Congress MLA won his first assembly election from Chandni Chowk constituency in 1998 and was re-elected in 2003, 2008 and 2013. He lost the 2015 state polls to AAP’s Alka Lamba, who, ironically, re-joined Congress in September.
A confidant of former Delhi Congress chief and three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Sawhney, sources said, was unhappy with Lamba joining Congress. With reports about her meetings with interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former AICC president Rahul Gandhi appearing in media in the run-up to her joining Congress again, sources said Sawhney thought he may not remain the grand old party’s first choice to be fielded from Chandni Chowk when Delhi goes to the polls early next year.
The veteran politician, however, said he had no desire to contest the upcoming election and had joined AAP impressed by its development work. “I have no desire for power or an election ticket. People in my locality are so happy about the work that Delhi government has done in the fields of education, health, power, transport, etc that they are saying that this time they will vote for Kejriwal ji,” Sawhney said after joining the party with his supporters, including a former municipal councillor and three block presidents.
Welcoming him to the party fold, Kejriwal said he was extremely happy that Sawhney had joined AAP with his team. “A number of political parties lost their vision after coming to power, but that is not the case with AAP. We started as a movement and have done revolutionary work since assuming office,” Kejriwal claimed.
Senior Congress leaders, however, said that Sawhney’s jumping the ship ahead of the assembly polls would have no impact on the party. “Lots of people have left Congress in the past, but it has never compromised with its ideology. Those who despite being elected threefour times as MLAs on Congress ticket could not be loyal to the party, can never be loyal to other parties too,” Delhi Congress spokesperson Jitender Kumar Kochar said.
Another Congress leader said that Sawhney did not have any base in his constituency. “His son could barely manage 27% votes in the last civic polls from Chandni Chowk. Rather, he had become a liability for the party,” he said.
Sawhney was inducted into AAP by Kejriwal and RS MP Sanjay Singh