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Posted at: Dec 12, 2016, 1:10 AM; last updated: Dec 12, 2016, 10:52 AM (IST)

Four AAP leaders join Congress

Four AAP leaders join Congress
Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh with AAP leaders (from right) Col CM Lakhanpal, PK Sharma, Col Iqbal Pannu and Barpur Singh at a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 11

Ahead of the elections, four key functionaries of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) in the state today joined the Congress here in the presence of Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh.

CM Lakhanpal, PK Sharma, Iqbal Pannu and Barpur Singh, who held key organisational positions in AAP, have been responsible for building the party in the state.

Welcoming them into the party fold, Amarinder said AAP’s graph in Punjab was declining every day. He also dismissed AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal’s charges of a nexus between the Congress and the Akalis.

“Kejriwal had come to Punjab with some principles which attracted people. But people are now disillusioned. AAP has no standing in the state and has brought 50,000 people from UP and Bihar for campaigning,” Amarinder said.

The Punjab Congress chief clarified that the new entrants had joined unconditionally and would be put up as candidates only where the Congress did not have winnable contestants.

The new entrants also spoke of their unconditional support for the Punjab Congress and called Captain a people’s leader with a feel for the pulse of the state.

Lakhanpal, who was the founder member and state vice-president of AAP Punjab, said AAP was once a principle-based party but had compromised on its ideals and started opening its doors to people with dubious backgrounds. He cited the example of the Bains brothers, saying it was no longer possible to continue with AAP given its current state. Ironically, Bains brothers, as part of Navjot Sidju led Awaz-e-Punjab, were also in talks with the Congress until they went for AAP.

PK Sharma, grandson of Ramgopal Sharma, District Congress president, Sangrur, left Canada to join AAP during the Anna Hazare movement but soon got disillusioned with the party before deciding to join the Congress.

AAP founder member Iqbal Pannu was senior vice-president of trade, transport, and industrial wing of AAP while Barpur Singh was the sector coordinator for AAP and leader of the Ramgarhia SC wing.


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