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Posted at: Sep 4, 2016, 7:22 PM; last updated: Sep 4, 2016, 9:31 PM (IST)

AAP appoints Gurpreet Ghuggi as Punjab convener

Kejriwal to oversee party's affairs in the state from next week
AAP appoints Gurpreet Ghuggi as Punjab convener
Gurpreet Ghuggi. — File photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4

The political affairs committee of the Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday appointed satirist and actor Gurpreet Ghuggi as Punjab unit convener. The decision by AAP’s political affairs committee was taken in Delhi days after Sucha Singh Chhotepur was sacked from the post after a video clip showed him allegedly accepting money from a party volunteer.

He will take charge soon, a party release said. Ghuggi (45) had joined the AAP in February this year.

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Meanwhile, AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who is in Rome to attend the canonisation ceremony of Mother Teresa told supporters in Italy that he was concerned about the situation in Punjab and would oversee the affairs of the party from next week.

“I will take over the reins of the party in Punjab. I will talk to good people who may be upset with the party. The corrupt and ineffective people will be thrown out,” Kejriwal said.

After comedian-turned-parliamentarian Bhagwant Mann, who is the party's campaign committee chairman for the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Ghuggi will be the second satirist to bag a top post in AAP which has been hit by controversies of late.

Read: Mann skips Gurdaspur rally, meets injured AAP activists at Mukstar

Party sources said Ghuggi was chosen as he was "a young and popular face" in Punjab and would bolster the party's prospects in the Assembly polls.

Ghuggi had earlier said he was impressed with the work done by Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal who brought "practical agenda and approach" to the political landscape to resolve the issues of the people.

Jalandhar-based Ghuggi, who began his career as a Punjabi actor at Jalandhar Doordarshan, has worked in many Bollywood flicks apart from working in the Punjabi film industry.

He has acted in Bollywood films such as 'Namastey London' and 'Race'.

AAP had yesterday sent a notice to Chhotepur and sought his reply in connection with the bribery allegations.

The sacked leader, who had earlier virtually ruled out returning to the AAP fold, has been drawing good support from many in the party's Punjab unit. The party's six parliamentary zonal coordinators in Punjab have recently passed a resolution in his support.

Chhotepur, who had been the face of AAP in Punjab until recently, had in Amritsar yesterday blamed his "own people" for destroying his 40-year political career and announced he would begin a statewide tour from Tuesday during which he would hold deliberations with the party's volunteers.

AAP had recently constituted a two-member probe panel, headed by its Rajouri Garden (Delhi) MLA and Punjab co-ordinator Jarnail Singh and comprising head of the grievance cell Jasbir Singh Bir, to look into the allegations against Chhotepur, who has maintained that in his political career he has "never taken money from anyone".

Chhotepur (65), a two-time MLA, was a minister in the Surjit Singh Barnala government in the 1980s. He had joined AAP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

After the party won four Lok Sabha seats from Punjab, Chhotepur, known for his oratory, was made its state convener. — With agency inputs


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