To beat AAP, Chhotepur to launch APP on October 1


Expelled AAP state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur has decided to float his own political outfit, probably to be named Apna Punjab party on October 1. Jasvir Singh Dhaliwal, former Anandpur Sahib zone in charge of AAP, said they were considering two names for the outfit—Aam Lok Party or Apna Punjab Party.

The front will be registered as a state party with the Election Commission and will either filed or support candidates for all 117 seats in the forthcoming assembly polls in the state. He said on October 1 office-bearers of political affairs committee, state executive, and district committees would be announced.

Chhotepur will head the party and is expected to resign from the AAP on Wednesday.  He said they were open to an alliance with any political party. Dhaliwal said they were in talks with AAP rebel MP Dharamvira Gandhi’s group and other breakaway AAP factions.

“Apna Punjab will not subsume Dr. Gandhi’s group, but bind with it as an alliance,” Chhotepur told stated. Chhotepur met Dr. Gandhi in Jalandhar on Tuesday and the modalities of the collaboration were worked out.

“Candidates will be chosen keeping in view the wishes of alliance partners,” he added. Gandhi’s umbrella front includes the Volunteer front Punjab, Democratic Swaraj Party as also some Left-oriented and Dalit groups.

Chhotepur said he was not sure if cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu will be joining him. “Anyone who wants to work for a solely Punjab-centric party is welcome to join us. It is for Sidhu, Pargat Singh and the Bains brothers to decide what they have to do,” he said.

When contacted, Pargat said he could not comment at this stage if he along with the others will join Chhotepur. “We are yet to decide on this matter,” he said.

The former Punjab AAP convener will announce the Apna Punjab state committee and heads of various wings during its formal launch on October 1 at Chandigarh. Several AAP volunteers, including the seven zonal chiefs, who left replaced by the AAP for backing Chhotepur, are expected to join the new outfit.

The party will have to show the membership of 100 men as is the requirement of the Election Commission of India for its registration. “There is no dearth of persons wanting to become members. Over 85 volunteers of AAP had tendered their resignation along with Gurinder Singh Bajwa, the former AAP zonal chief from Amritsar.