Chandigarh : The Punjab Congress on Sunday got another boost ahead of the Assembly elections, with key leaders from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), as well a large number of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and supporters, joining the party in the presence of Captain Amarinder Singh here on Sunday.
Ex-Akali leader from Atam Nagar and councillor Kamaljit Singh Karwal, once considered the right-hand man of MLA Simarjit Singh, and former AAP central executive committee member Yamini Gomar from Hoshiarpur were among those pledged their allegiance to Captain Amarinder and the Congress.
Other AAP leaders to join the Punjab Congress were LR Nayyar, former Chief Commissioner (Income Tax), and party observer Gagan Sahni. Karwal’s supporters also came out in support of the Congress on the occasion.
Captain Amarinder said all these leaders had joined the party unconditionally. They had become completely disillusioned with the policies of their respective parties and the agendas of their leaders, said the Punjab Congress president.
Captain Amarinder hailed their joinings as another milestone in the Congress journey towards a clear majority in the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections, saying these developments highlighted the complete wipeout of all the other parties in the fray.
Karwal, who had met Captain Amarinder in Delhi a few days ago to extend his support to the Congress, was associated with SAD since 2007, expect for a brief period in 2014. The anti-people policies of the party, he said, had encouraged him to take the decision to move to the Congress.
Yamini, who had openly accused Kejriwal and AAP of being anti-Dalit, anti-Sikh and anti-Punjab, said AAP was in a total mess, with its leadership befooling the people of Punjab with fake promises. "AAP leadership in not even ready to blink its eyes over the issues of corruption and promotion of criminals in the party", she said.
Yamini took a dig at AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal over the 3C – corruption, criminal record and character – issue, saying there was hardly a miniscule of the party leadership who fulfilled the party’smotto of not coming in these categories.
"More than 70 per cent of the AAP volunteers, who had joined the party with an aim to see Punjab on roads of progress once again, are now completely shattered with party leaders busy promoting their own vested interests", she said, adding that many more genuine people in AAP, who were feeling suffocated, would also enter the Congress fold in the coming days.
Yamini, who had a remarkable run with more than 2 lakh votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on AAP ticket, said no honest person who has the interests of Punjab in his heart can remain with AAP, given the complete moral bankruptcy of its leadership. Expressing full faith in Captain Amarinder’s leadership, Yamini told mediapersons that only the Congress could save the state and its people from doom.
Both Nayyar and Sahni also endorsed Yamini’s statement, saying AAP was a party of corrupt and greedy individuals who had no interest in the welfare of the people of Punjab.
The AAP leaders accused the party of failing the revolution which they had started and which the people of Punjab were waiting for them to complete. They said their only agenda for to bring about the progress and development of the state and they wanted to strengthen the Congress as the state could not afford a hung assembly. With many good people having joined the Congress recently, they said their faith in the party had further increased.
The AAP leaders, led by Yamini, further said Punjab had very high hopes of Captain Amarinder, whose efficient governance they had witnessed earlier. They listed out several issues which they said they hoped the Congress, under the leadership of Captain Amarinder, would address on coming to power.
Meanwhile, a large number of the BJP leaders from Doraha, also joined Congress. Prominent among them were Doraha BJP Mandal president Rahul Bector, Vice-President Anish Bector, Secretary Varun Sharma and General Secretary Anoop Bector, besides several Municipal Councillors and other BJP leaders. Members of the Royal Star Club Chabhal, Tarn Taran, also joined the Congress, extending support to Captain Amarinder.