6-month-old Ghuggi new Punjab AAP convener

Gurpreet Ghuggi

AAP is fast running out of leaders in Punjab. Barely six months into the Aam Aadmi Party, comedian-turned-politician Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi (45) was appointed its new Punjab convener on Sunday. Punjab AAP is now lead by two professional comedians.

He replaces Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who was sacked on August 26 after a cash-sting video in the state preparing for elections in early 2017. It virtually ends any chance of the estranged leader’s reinstatement.

The AAP political affairs committee met in New Delhi to clear Ghuggi’s name for the post. AAP Punjab affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh said Ghuggi will soon meet the organisation heads in the state. Faced with a vertical splint on the ‘Punjabi versus outsider’ debate, the party has already asked its 13 central observers appointed by national organisation-building in-charge Durgesh Pathak to go back.

Party sources said Ghuggi was chosen as he was “a young and popular face” in Punjab and would bolster the party’s prospects in the assembly polls. AAP also thinks that Ghuggi, a TV actor-comedian, can be an effective counter to former test player and comedian Navjot Singh Sidhu, who last week decided to not join AAP and launched a new regional party Awaaz-e-Punjab.

Ghuggi had earlier said he was impressed with the work done by Delhi chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal who brought “practical agenda and approach” to the political landscape to resolve the issues of the people.

Ghuggi, who joined the AAP in February, was assigned to focus on the Majha region. He stated off as a Punjabi actor in Jalandhar Doordarshan, played lead in soap opera ‘Parchhaven’, and became a household name after participating in ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ reality show on satellite TV. He has done comedy roles in Bollywood and Punjabi movies.