The Aam Aadmi Party will contest the Lok Sabha elections in all 13 seats in Punjab and the lone constituency in Chandigarh, party chief Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday, PTI reported.
“Two years back, you gave your blessings,” Kejriwal said at a public meeting in Punjab’s Khanna town, referring to the 2021 Assembly polls in which the Aam Aadmi Party won. “You created history in Punjab. Today I again seek your blessing with folded hands. There will be Lok Sabha elections after two months. In Punjab there are 13 [Lok Sabha seats], one is Chandigarh and there will be 14 seats.”
Kejriwal said that his party will announce its candidates for these 14 Lok Sabha seats in the next 10 to 15 days.
Kejriwal praised Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for doing a “lot of work” in the past two years and criticised rivals, including the Congress.
“If I ask you today, in 75 years, the Congress ruled for so many years,” the Delhi chief minister said. “Tell me one good work the Congress has done. [You] will not remember. If I ask you, [Shiromani] Akali Dal ruled for so many years, tell me one good work the Akali Dal has done. [You] will not remember.”
While the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress are opponents in Punjab, they are constituents of the Opposition INDIA bloc that has been formed to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the Lok Sabha elections.
In the 2019 general election, the Congress won eight out of Punjab’s 13 seats and the Aam Aadmi Party had won one. The Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat was won by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
However, in the 2021 Punjab polls, the Aam Aadmi Party bagged 92 of the 117 Assembly constituencies. The Congress, which was in power in the state, won 18 seats.
In late January, the two rivals had contested the Chandigarh mayoral elections together. However, the BJP candidate defeated the joint candidate fielded by the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress after the presiding officer of the election declared eight votes from the Opposition alliance invalid.
Earlier in January, another INDIA bloc constituent, the Trinamool Congress, had also announced that it will contest the general elections alone in all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
On February 6, however, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is very much a part of the INDIA bloc. The Congress MP said that negotiations on seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha elections are going on among members of the Opposition bloc. “There is posturing, and that is normal,” he said.