Life in Gurgaon

AAP to contest all Lok Sabha seats in Punjab

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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.

He vowed to expose “the unholy alliance” between the state’s ruling Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal while warning against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s return to power at the Centre. “If they [the BJP] return to power in the 2019 elections, they will break up the country,” he told reporters before addressing a rally.

Kejriwal asked the people to defeat the BJP to save the country. He said he attended West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s rally in Kolkata on Saturday against the BJP but denied any plans of allying with the Congress. He called the Congress and Akalis “two faces of the same coin”.

Kejriwal attacked the Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government, saying it had cheated millions of farmers, unemployed youth, Dalits and the state’s underprivileged. “What type of captain [Amarinder Singh] you have elected? He is giving all schools and hospitals in private hands, while in Delhi we are strengthening government institutions to serve the downtrodden section of the society,’’ he said.

Kejriwal referred to the dissidents, who have left the AAP, and called them opportunists. Two lawmakers, Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Baldev Singh, have left the AAP along with lawyer H S Phoolka this month.

In Hyderabad, BJP spokesman Sambit Patra slammed Kejriwal, saying five years ago he used to call the Congress, Samajwadi Party, BSP and RJD leaders thieves. But Patra added Kejriwal has now joined them