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‘Confident’ AAP Not Keen to Project Punjab CM Candidate

Pathak, Punjab’s AAP leader said he expected the AAP to win 95 to 105 of the 117 seats in the elections next year.

4 min read
‘Confident’ AAP Not Keen to Project Punjab CM Candidate
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The AAP is confident of sweeping the Punjab assembly polls but is in no hurry to decide who will be its Chief Minister, a party leader in charge of the state said.

Durgesh Pathak also said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was ready for any decision by a parliamentary panel on its MP, Bhagwant Mann, who is accused of breaching Parliament’s security, a charge Mann has denied.

Pathak, who has played a key role in building the party in Punjab, said he expected the AAP to win 95 to 105 of the 117 seats in the elections due early next year.

Of course any party will say it is winning, but I invite you to visit any place in Punjab and ask any 10 people who they will vote for. I bet seven will say AAP. 
Durgesh Pathak, AAP Leader, Punjab
Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal (left) and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. (Photo: PTI)

Referring to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and the main opposition party, the Congress, Durgesh Pathak said:

As of now, the Akalis and the Congress are far, far, far behind us. 

Pathak, who said he had visited every nook and corner of Punjab in the last one year, debunked arguments that the Akalis still held sway in rural areas.

Of the 117 seats in Punjab, only 20 to 25 are urban seats in the real sense. So, if this argument is true, the AAP can’t win. But the reality is different. We have support in both rural and urban areas.
Durgesh Pathak

AAP in Punjab

According to Pathak, the AAP won a quarter of the votes polled in Punjab in the 2014 Lok Sabha election which fetched it four seats — the only parliamentary victory it got anywhere in the country.

After Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from Rajya Sabha, questions whether he would become AAP’s Punjab CM candidate came up. (Photo: PTI)
A winning party in an Assembly battle will need about 35 per cent of votes. As of now in Punjab, we have acquired a support base of 53-54 per cent. No wonder, C Voter survey is giving us 102 seats as of today.
Durgesh Pathak

The AAP’s entry has made the coming Punjab election a triangular affair for the first time. Both the Akalis and the Congress admit their main foe is the AAP.

Pathak said there were many reasons why the AAP had grown so rapidly in Punjab.

He said a decade of Akali rule had badly hurt Punjab’s economy, made corruption a way of life, led to nepotism as well as given birth to both ‘goondagardi’ and a drug culture that had mauled the young.

AAP leader in Punja, Durgesh Pathak has said that Akalis and the Congress are far behind them. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Durgesh Pathak)
The voter is angry. People are hungry for good governance. And in such a scenario, our achievements in Delhi are seen positively. So the voter is looking to bring the AAP to power, not the Congress. And we are seen as political activists who are honest and fearless.  
Durgesh Pathak 

Amid speculation that former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu could be the AAP’s Chief Ministerial candidate in Punjab, Pathak said the AAP was in no hurry to project a potential CM.

We have not even thought about it. We have not even decided whether there needs to be a CM candidate ahead of the election. We will cross the bridge when we come to it.
Durgesh Pathak
Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann. (Photo: Facebook)

False Allegations on Mann

Does the AAP fear that Bhagwant Mann’s membership of the Lok Sabha will be cancelled by the parliamentary panel probing his video recording of a section of parliament?

Pathak, who is from Allahabad and who joined the India Against Corruption campaign of 2011 before embracing the AAP, said the Akalis, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party had ganged up against Mann.

Defending Mann, Pathak said:

Mann has done no wrong. He only wanted to show how questions submitted for Zero Hour in Parliament are selected like in a lottery. But if this panel wants to throw him out of the Lok Sabha, so be it. None of us joined the AAP for any post. We are prepared for anything. All I can say is people are watching everything and they are the final judge.  

( The writers of this article can be contacted at and This was published in an arrangement with IANS.)

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