AAP loses ground, fails to emerge as a third front in Punjab. Even as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fielded an honest and a decorated senior Army officer Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria in Gurdaspur by-poll, the voters instead of reposing faith, outrightly rejected AAP as a potential third front in the state. AAP candidate Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria, a local resident of Pathankot, lost miserably to Congress stalwart Sunil Jakhar. Khajuria lost his security and gained a mere 23,579 votes while Jakhar polled 4,99,752 votes.Not only AAP headed by Leader of Opposition and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira and its state convener MP Bhagwant Mann was witnessing internal strife, even the volunteer support was also affected in the recent past, hence eroding party’s base gradually. Ironically, instead of accepting defeat and analyzing the ground reality, the AAP volunteers were seen blaming ‘Electronic Voting Machine’ hijack as a the sole reason of its loss in Gurdaspur by-poll.Political observers maintained that AAP’s complete rout within a span of six months post assembly elections has proved that the voters in the state were in no mood to rely on third front. Daily Post spoke to leaders from all parties, who shared that AAP was claiming 100 seats in assembly elections but they managed to win only 22. “Though it emerged as the main opposition in Vidhan Sabha but the party has lost ground in the state,” they said.SAD rural president and Shahkot MLA Ajit Singh Kohar said that AAP was finished in Punjab. “This is not the defeat of Khajuria, who enjoyed a clean image, but that of AAP in Punjab. Voters have clearly sent its message that they were in no mood for any other experiments. AAP MP’s were already a divided among themselves and failed to perform,” he said. AAP General Secretary (Youth Wing) Punjab Sukhdeep Singh Apra rather raised the issue of trouble with EVMs and the ruling Congress’ misrule. “Congress workers not only hijacked the booths, indulged in wrong practices but also threatened our volunteers. Khajuria even got a video proof which highlighted that how Congress leaders were misguiding the voters,” he said.Apra said that only 50 per cent voting took place, which again highlighted that almost half of the population does not even believe in Congress. However, when asked that AAP dissolved its Gurdaspur and Pathankot units, Apra dodged the query and said that it was state leadership’s decision. Interestingly, Khaira was not even taken into confidence before dissolving these units. “Anarchy and chaos is ruling the party,” said an AAP worker from Jalandhar. Former Punjab Minister and president of District Congress Committee Kapurthala Joginder Singh Mann also said that the results have shown that people have no faith on communal SAD-BJP and the AAP.However, former head of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, GNDU Regional Campus Jalandhar, Dr Kamesh Duggal said, “I would like to term the 23,600 voters of Gurdaspur as ‘aware citizens’. It is surprising to note that despite sleazy video of Akali leader Sucha Singh Langah and BJP candidate facing similar charges by a woman, people voted for them. People voted for Congress considering that they would have to deal with the local MLAs in the constituency.”Following AAP’s defeat in Gurdaspur by-poll, party’s vice president and Majha Zone in-charge Charanjit Singh Channi on Sunday resigned from the primary membership of AAP.
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