AAP gets a jolt ahead of Delhi Assembly polls; M S Dhir, Harish Khanna join BJP

Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi, Nov 21: Ahead of the Delhi Assembly polls, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) got a major setback as senior party leaders M.S. Dhir and Harish Khanna on Friday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The AAP, however, tried to downplay MS Dhir’s decision to join the BJP, saying there was a very bleak possibility of his winning the upcoming Assembly polls.

AAP spokesperson Ashutosh told a news agency: “Around two weeks ago, Sanjay Singh and I called him personally and informed him that his performance in the assembly was not good and that there was a little possibility of his getting a ticket as a candidate. Our feedback was based on what our volunteers told us and surveys that we undertook in his constituency.”

Ashutosh further said: “There was a very bleak possibility of his winning the elections. So, we told him categorically that his performance was not good and that there was a strong possibility of him being denied a ticket.”

Speaking to media persons, Dhir, the former speaker of Delhi Assembly, said that he would look to serve the BJP to the best of his abilities.

He said: “I will serve the BJP to the best of my abilities. By joining the BJP, in a way, I have returned to my home.”

“Nobody from the Aam Aadmi Party has contacted me. If they do get in touch with me, I will tell them that seeing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra for development, they too should join the BJP,” he added.

Earlier this month, AAP MLA from North Delhi’s Timarpur area, Harish Khanna had also refused to stand for the elections, citing anguish over the way the party had taken some decisions.

However, he was still a member of the party before joining the BJP on Friday.

With the Union Cabinet recommending the dissolution of the Delhi Assembly and setting the stage for fresh elections in the days to come, political parties have begun finalizing their poll campaign strategy to grab power here.

President’s rule was imposed in Delhi since February after Kejriwal resigned as the Chief Minister after remaining in power for 49 days.

(With Agency Inputs)

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