Will contest all 13 LS seats in Punjab: AAP

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Will contest all 13 LS seats in Punjab: AAP

Sunday, 11 February 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

The AAP on Saturday reiterated that the party will contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab and one in Chandigarh in the 2024 general election, dismissing the possibility of alliance with its INDIA bloc partner, the Congress party in the State.

The announcement that the AAP will contest all 13 seats in the state and one in Chandigarh was made on Saturday by AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal, who also took a dig at the Congress and said people in Punjab would be hard-pressed to remember any "good work" that his INDIA ally had done when it ruled the state.  Kejriwal's announcement comes days after Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann said that his party would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections solo. Mann in January had said that there would be no alliance with the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Further indicating that there will be no alliance with the Congress in the state, the Delhi chief minister said that his party will announce candidates for all 14 seats in the coming 10-15 days.

Speaking at a public event on the doorstep delivery of ration in Khanna, Punjab, Kejriwal said in Hindi, "The Lok Sabha elections will be held in two months... Punjab has 13 seats and Chandigarh has one. In the next 10-15 days, the AAP will announce its candidates for all 14 seats. I request you to give us your blessings like you did (during the Punjab Assembly election) two years ago, and ensure that the AAP sweeps all 14 seats."  The remarks suggest that the ongoing talks between AAP and the Congress over seat sharing haven't made progress. However, Kejriwal's remark indicates that the two parties may face the BJP and SAD in Punjab in a quadrilateral electoral competition. The Delhi chief minister's statement will add to the turmoil in the opposition grouping which is yet to recover from the loss of Janata Dal (United) President Nitish Kumar, who switched to the BJP-led NDA last month.  Sources said the AAP’s PAC, its highest decision-making body, will meet on February 13 to announce candidates for Haryana, Goa and Gujarat, as it believes that time is running out for them.

Both AAP and Congress traditionally bitter rivals in Punjab and Delhi, had contested the Chandigarh mayoral elections together last month, indicating that they could extend the alliance to the Lok Sabha elections. Taking a dig at the Kejriwal’s remarks, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said the Congress and "AAP" are two sides of the same coin, both with a history of deceit, having deceived the public and now deceiving each other.

"Two years back, you gave your blessings. Out of 117 seats, you gave us 92 seats. You created history in Punjab.  "Today I again seek your blessing with folded hands. There will be Lok Sabha elections after two months. In Punjab there are 13 (Lok Sabha) seats, one is Chandigarh and there will be 14 seats.  "In the coming 10-15 days, the AAP will announce its candidates on all these 14 seats. I request you the way you blessed us two years back, get the party to win all these 14 seats," said Kejriwal while addressing a public gathering in Khanna.

 The Delhi chief minister also praised the Bhagwant Mann government, saying it did a "lot of work" in the past two years.  "If I ask you today, in 75 years, the Congress ruled for so many years. Tell me one good work the Congress has done. (You) will not remember. If I ask you, Akali Dal ruled for so many years, tell me one good work the Akali Dal has done. (You) will not remember," said Kejriwal as he attacked the rival parties.

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