Chandigarh, September 15: Two AAP leaders from Gurdaspur — former coordinator Lakhmeer Singh and Major Gen Suresh Khajuria (retd) — have emerged as front runners for the party’s ticket to contest the October-11 bypoll to the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat that fell vacant after the demise of BJP MP Vinod Khanna earlier this year.
Both have been associated with the party since 2012. The two names have been shortlisted from among several ticket aspirants, including some who had unsuccessfully contested the Assembly elections.
Consensus on these two leaders built up in the party at a three-hour-long meeting at Punjab Bhawan where the state AAP leaders asserted that they would chose the final candidate and the national leadership would formally announce it.
Party sources said majority of the 20 party MLAs, state office-bearers besides the Majha zone leaders, who met under the leadership of state convener and MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann at Punjab Bhawan here today favoured candidature of these two leaders.
Interestingly, some MLAs proposed the name of the party’s incumbent Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Sukhpal Khaira and Bollywood actress Gul Panag also in the meeting. However, Mann and Khaira insisted that the party would not impose any outsider or parachute candidate on the Gurdaspur voters learning from the debacle in the Punjab Assembly polls.
“We have taken a stand that the candidate of the AAP will be from the Gurdaspur constituency. So, no outsider will be imposed on the voters and AAP volunteers,” said a party leader confirming the developments.
The meeting held a long discussion on the mistakes committed by the party during the Assembly polls. The members also asserted the independence of the state unit in taking such decisions. “The state unit feels that they are the best for choosing the right candidate,” said a leader.
Party sources said Bhagwant Mann directed all MLAs and state office-bearers to camp in Gurdaspur for the election. The meeting discussed the strong and weak points of the proposed candidates of the Congress and the SAD-BJP and how to counter them.
News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com