The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) plans to capture Punjab with the gambit of an appeal to 40 disgruntled MLAs of the ruling Indian National Congress (INC) led by Navjot Singh Sidhu to form a government with it. The AAP has 19 MLAs of its own in the State.
Aman Arora, Punjab’s co-convener and MLA of the AAP, has claimed that many INC MLAs are upset with the party. He said, “Four INC MLAs are angry because of phone tapping or because they are not being heard in the government.” They, in turn, have claimed that there are 40 INC MLAs in all who are ill-at-ease working under Captain Amarinder Singh, according to Arora. “That is why we want Navjot Singh Sidhu and 40 Congress MLAs, with 19 AAP MLAs, to come together on one platform,” he said.
Arora says that these disgruntled MLAs, together with the AAP’s strength in the Assembly, can fulfil the promises they made to the people by forming a new government in Punjab.
In the past, four INC MLAs had alleged that Punjab Police was tapping their phone calls. These four MLAs are from the Assembly constituencies of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s district Patiala. They are Hardayal Singh Kamboj, Madan Lal Jalalpur, Nirmal Singh Shutrana and Kaka Rajinder Singh.
These MLAs allege that bureaucracy is riding roughshod over the MLAs and that the babus are not listening to any of them. These four MLAs have heightened politics in Punjab in mid-season of the Amarinder Singh government with the claim that about 40 more MLAs from their party are upset with the chief minister. They claim that these frustrated lawmakers are all coming together.
The AAP tried to create this new political equation in Punjab after the news of displeasure of 40 INC MLAs came to the fore. The AAP has offered these MLAs led by Navjot Singh Sidhu to join hands with the AAP to form a government.
In the Punjab Assembly of strength 117, the INC has 80 MLAs, AAP has 19, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) 14, BJP two and Lok Insaaf Party two MLAs.