Four-time Cong MLA Par­lad Sawh­ney joins AAP

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­

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.

San­jeev Ras­togi

Sawh­ney was in­ducted into AAP by Ke­jri­wal and RS MP San­jay Singh

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