'Ignored', Amritsar Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu goes with AAP : The Tribune India

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'Ignored', Amritsar Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu goes with AAP

He holds influence in Amritsar North Assembly segment, from where AAP's Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh is contesting

'Ignored', Amritsar Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu goes with AAP

Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu with AAP's Arvind Kejriwal.



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 16

With three days to go for the Assembly elections in Punjab, the Congress was hit by another defection as Amritsar Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu today joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the presence of party’s nation convener Arvind Kejriwal and chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann.

Rintu said he took the decision to uphold his “self-dignity”. “When you are ignored in spite of working for the party with dedication, taking another course is the best option,” he told The Tribune. He holds influence in the Amritsar North Assembly segment, from where the AAP has fielded former Inspector General of Police Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh.

In 2012, Rintu had unsuccessfully contested the Assembly elections against then BJP leader Anil Joshi. He had polled 45,394 votes, while Joshi had garnered 62,374 votes. In the subsequent Assembly elections, Rintu was denied the ticket. The Congress, however, compensated him by making him the Amritsar Mayor in 2018.

Insiders say that Rintu, who was a close ally of former CM Capt Amarinder Singh, was “feeling suffocated” in the present party set-up under PCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Speculations are rife that he could be replaced with someone from the Sidhu camp, as happened in the case of the Amritsar Improvement Trust.

In 2018, then Local Bodies Minister Sidhu and 17 other Congress councillors of Amritsar (East) close to him had boycotted the oath-taking ceremony of Rintu.

Against the backdrop of his “never-ending” tussle with Capt Amarinder, Sidhu was upset for not being taken into confidence while picking the mayoral candidates in three major cities — Amritsar, Patiala and Jalandhar — where MC elections were held on December 17, 2017.

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