Former AAP MLA Alka Lamba joins Congress

 Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Chandni Chowk Alka Lamba joins the Congress party in presence of the party's in-charge of Delhi P C Chacko, in New Delhi, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (PTI Photo)

In a homecoming, AAP leader Alka Lamba on Saturday re-joined Congress ahead of Delhi Assembly polls.

AAP and Congress whose leaders including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had made numerous attempts to seal an alliance in Delhi for Lok Sabha polls just months back are now in poaching game now as Delhi Assembly polls near.

 In a classic tit for tat case, AAP, which was apprehending such a scenario, had last week inducted four time Congress MLA from Chandni Chowk Parlad Singh Sawhney, who was defeated by Lamba in 2015 Assembly polls.

Amid talks of Lamba's return Parlad Sawhney, who wanted to field his son Punardeep Singh Sawhney from the Chandni Chowk seat, quit the party on October 6 and joined the AAP as he apprehended that being a sitting MLA Lamba will be fielded by the Congress. 

Sawhney was third Congress MLA to have joined the AAP after party’s Dalit face Rajkumar Chauhan and two-time MLA Surinder Pal Singh Bittu. Earlier Chacko had said in March this year that nine AAP MLAs wanted to join Congress.

 Flamboyant Lamba, who had started her political career at the young age of 19,  had made quite a wave when she had won the prestigious post of President of Delhi University Students’ Union as a NSUI candidate with a huge margin in 1995.

Within two years she became NSUI President in 1997. In 2003, she contested against the then Delhi Chief Minister and BJP stalwart Madan Lal Khurana but lost.

In 2014, she had quit Congress and joined AAP. In the meanwhile, Lamba had also set up an NGO India Foundation in 2006. During her political career spanning 25 years, Lamba also kicked up rows---- while probing as a member of the National Commission for Women the 2012 Guwahati molestation case and later leading a group protest to vandalise a liquor shop owned by a BJP supporter in 2015.

Sawhney was MLA from Chandni Chowk assembly constituency from 1998 to 2015. In 2015, he was defeated by Lamba.

Lamba, who joined the Congress on Saturday in the presence of the party's Delhi unit in-charge P C Chacko, had a rocky relationship with AAP for quite some time. After a run-in with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for months, Lamba announced her decision to join the Congress early last month and resigned from the primary membership of AAP. Soon after, she was disqualified as a member of the Delhi Assembly under the anti-defection law.

The trigger for her souring relationship with AAP her protest against her party’s resolution in the Delhi Assembly in December last year demanding that Bharat Ratna awarded to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi be withdrawn over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

On expected lines after joining Congress, Lamba said Congress as it is the only party which can take care of people of Delhi and accused “autocrat” Kejriwal’s government misleading people with its "lies and falsehood".

On a similar line, Sawhney, who had joined AAP on October 6 had showered lavish praise on the AAP government’s work saying wherever he goes, he hears of the development work done by the party.

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