Punjab AAP loses both track and traction

Kejriwal tendering an unconditional apology in court to former Punjab minister Bikram Majithia, the brother of Union minister Harsimran Kaur, in a defamation case had party leaders in complete disarray. PTI file photo

Dubbed as a political greenhorn in its debut elections in Punjab, the AAP rose like a phoenix in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections only to stare at an uncertain future this ensuing poll.

Notwithstanding the 'Modi wave', the AAP won 4 seats in Punjab, more than the Congress and the BJP, in 2014 elections.

If that was its zenith, five years down the line, the AAP stands at an all-time low.

Its apparently lost the plot faster than many would have imagined. Two of its noteworthy MP’s have parted away raising the banner of revolt.

So have many of its sitting MLAs.

The AAP edginess is reflected in its desperateness to seek any alliance in Punjab, be it with the BSP, the SAD (Taksali) or even the Congress.

Denials apart, all have said no for an alliance with the AAP. Sources said that the party is even struggling to find suitable contenders.

The party’s drift started not long after its splendid victory in the 2014 parliamentary elections.

Its top leaders, including the leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira, was unceremoniously axed— the announcement came on Twitter.

Khaira walked away citing an ‘autocratic’ Arvind Kejriwal at the helm of affairs.

At one time, incumbent state AAP president and MP Bhagwant Mann, the lone formidable contender of the party this time around in poll fray from Sangrurs, too quit his post.

Kejriwal tendering an unconditional apology in court to former Punjab minister Bikram Majithia, the brother of Union minister Harsimran Kaur, in a defamation case had party leaders in complete disarray.

The party put up a good show even in the 2017 Assembly polls winning 20 out of 117 seats.

Nineteen of its candidates were ones with little or no political background. But it did not take time before 8 to 9 of its MLAs, including H S Phoolka, walked away. 

The top leadership of the party has failed to keep its flock together.

Party’s Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, a medical practitioner, launched his outfit and became a part of the Punjab Democratic Alliance to seek a re-election from Patiala.

The other party MP, H S Khalsa joined the BJP last week.

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