In order to shatter the dream of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to win Punjab Assembly Elections 2017, the rebel group of the party has formed a political outfit called Swaraj Party. The decision of forming new party was taken at a meeting of Swaraj Lehar delegates from across Punjab on Sunday in Chandigarh. The group of AAP dissidents owed allegiance to former AAP ideologue Yogendra Yadav and established Swaraj Party from AAP rebels. The Swaraj Party has also announced to contest Punjab Assembly polls.
“The party will contest elections in Punjab but it’s yet to be decided on how many seats. It has presence in 11 districts of Punjab and will extended to other areas shortly,” Manjit Singh, President of Swaraj Party told Times of India. The new political group is formed to give an alternative platform for ‘disgruntled’ AAP members in the state. (ALSO READ: AAP to fight 2017 Goa Assembly polls)
Two suspended AAP MPs – Dharamvira Gandhi and Harinder Khalsa – have also extended their support for Swaraj Party. However Dharamvira Gandhi clarified that he has no plan to join the new party, but he said he would support to it as he would to any outfit with principles. “The new outfit will ensure that AAP treads with caution, especially while giving tickets to candidates. Wherever AAP does not field candidates with a good track record, I may even consider campaigning for Swaraj Party nominees,” Gandhi was quoted as saying.
Reacting on the development, Yogendra Yadav’s group Swaraj Abhiyan clarified that the Swaraj Party had not been sponsored by it. “Following the announcement about the formation of a Swaraj party in Punjab, there have been questions about its relationship to Swaraj Abhiyan. We wish to clarify that this initiative has not been sponsored by Swaraj Abhiyan. Though many colleagues associated with this initiative are from Swaraj Abhiyan, Punjab, the decision to form a political party has not been taken in accordance with the due process laid down by the Abhiyan,” Anupam, media coordinator of the Swaraj Abhiyan said.
AAP is aiming to “repeat the historic win of Delhi polls in Punjab”. The party did well in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Punjab, winning four of the 13 seats. Swaraj Party may become hurdle for AAP’s political ambitions in Punjab.