Congress campaign in full swing in Chandigarh, ally AAP missing from scene : The Tribune India

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Congress campaign in full swing in Chandigarh, ally AAP missing from scene

No joint public gathering of two parties since ticket to Tewari

Congress campaign in full swing in Chandigarh, ally AAP missing from scene

INDIA bloc candidate from Chandigarh Manish Tewari along with city Congress president HS Lucky during campaigning in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune Photo



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, April 21

City Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which was aggressive during the recent mayoral poll, is missing from campaigning for the city Lok Sabha election, while its INDIA bloc partner, the Congress’ canvassing is in full swing.

The top leadership of the two parties have not held any joint public gathering or press conference since the Congress announced Manish Tewari as the alliance candidate for the city LS seat.

The Congress claims all is well as many AAP workers are campaigning along with its leaders. However, AAP Mayor Kuldip Kumar Dhalor, councillors, party co-in charge SS Ahluwalia, Prem Garg, Pardeep Chhabra and other senior leaders are not seen campaigning with the party’s ally, raising doubts over its wholehearted support to the Congress. However, AAP senior leader Chandermukhi Sharma, who is personally close to Tewari, is seen with him on the field.

After his name was announced for the city LS seat, Tewari had held his first meeting with the city Congress. Senior AAP leaders, including Dr Ahluwalia, were also invited to the meeting held at the Congress Bhawan, Sector 35. But, the AAP leaders were conspicuous by their absence. Later in the day, the party held a separate meeting instead, to express its support to the Congress candidate.

A Congress leader had said AAP leaders had a few reservations such as sitting on a dais which had pictures of all senior Congress leaders in the backdrop. All these things will have to be sorted out before the two parties could come together for campaigning, he added.

While AAP seemed to have reservations in going to the Congress office, the Congress leadership, including its councillors and president HS Lucky, had addressed joint press conferences from AAP’s office in Sector 39 during the mayoral poll, which the two parties contested under the INDIA bloc. Kuldeep Kumar become the first AAP Mayor. The support of AAP, which had emerged as the single largest party in MC House in its poll debut by winning 14 seats in December 2021, could be crucial for the Congress.

Meanwhile, Lucky, said, “All their people are joining us in campaigning. To go full throttle, AAP is waiting for the announcement of its new office-bearers. After that, a campaign programme will be designed formally. There is no coordination issues with them. All is well.”

Dr Ahluwalia said, “We are making our strategy in this regard. We are soon going to form a coordination committee of the two parties that will decide on campaign plans. However, we have done a joint meeting with the Congress president and the alliance candidate.”

Bansal yet to join campaigning

Former Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was among the ticket contenders, has not joined the Congress’ campaigning yet. Leaders close to him, many of whom have resigned from their posts, have been seeking the removal of city Congress president HS Lucky, as a precondition to four-time MP’s support to Tewari.

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#Aam Aadmi Party AAP #Congress #INDIA bloc #Lok Sabha


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