Punjab: Big Blow to Congress as Dalit Leader Crosses Over to AAP Ahead of High-stakes Jalandhar Bypoll


Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee

Final Up to date: April 05, 2023, 23:15 IST

Former Congress MLA Sushil Kumar Rinku (in brown jacket) joined the AAP in presence of nationwide convener Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday. (Picture: Punjab AAP/Twitter)

Former MLA Sushil Rinku is most definitely to be named because the AAP candidate for the bypoll scheduled for Might 10, regardless that the celebration has not made an official announcement

Within the high-stakes battle for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat, the problem for the Congress received harder on Monday when widespread Dalit chief and former MLA Sushil Rinku crossed over to the AAP in presence of nationwide convener Arvind Kejriwal and chief minister Bhagwant Mann.

Rinku is most definitely to be named because the AAP candidate for the bypoll scheduled for Might 10, regardless that the celebration has not made an official announcement.

Hours earlier than Rinku’s formal induction into the AAP, the Congress issued an expulsion order for the chief regardless that studies of him crossing over had been doing the rounds over the previous month.

“We comply with a system of conducting surveys and asking individuals about their alternative of candidate. It was completed even throughout my announcement because the CM face. The celebration will comply with the identical process for the Jalandhar bypoll candidate,” Mann mentioned, when requested if Rinku shall be named because the candidate.

The Congress has introduced Karamjit Kaur as its candidate, however the exit of a senior Dalit chief with solely slightly over a month left for the election is anticipated to ship a giant blow. Karamjit is the widow of Santokh Singh Chaudhary, who died of a coronary heart assault throughout senior chief Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. The bypoll was necessitated by his dying.

In response to sources, Rinku had sought a ticket from the constituency however the Congress excessive command selected Karamjit as a substitute for cashing in on the “sympathy issue”. The Congress made an effort until the final minute to keep away from the swap. Rinku managed to maintain his formal swap to the AAP underneath wraps, as he was noticed at some celebration occasions together with the not too long ago held ‘Save the Structure’ marketing campaign.

Jalandhar has historically been a Congress stronghold with the celebration managing to win 5 out of 9 meeting seats within the earlier meeting elections regardless of the AAP wave. The AAP, in the meantime, is making an attempt to make inroads into the reserved constituency and the induction of a Dalit chief may give it that much-needed enhance.

A stung Congress is making an attempt to downplay the crossover at the same time as celebration leaders mentioned it is going to now expose the AAP’s narrative of not fielding an “aam aadmi” however slightly poach a Congress chief.

State Congress chief Amrinder Raja Warring mentioned the AAP was choosing up Congress leaders out of desperation. “However election outcomes will make the image crystal clear. The AAP will stand uncovered,” he mentioned.

“The AAP has picked junk from the yard of the Congress. On prime of it, Arvind Kajriwal got here to make Rinku be part of the AAP as if a prime gun was becoming a member of the celebration. It exposes their double requirements,” mentioned chief of the opposition Partap Singh Bajwa.

Rinku began his political profession as a councillor within the civic physique. After he grew to become an MLA in 2017, his spouse Sunita Rinku grew to become a councillor from the world in 2018.

The Jalandhar bypoll has develop into a must-win scenario for the AAP after it suffered a shock defeat within the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll final yr. A number of weeks in the past, it additionally inducted former Akali MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment, Jagbir Brar into its fold.

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