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Chaitra Navratri

AAP ex-MP joins Congress, may enter Patiala fray

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CHANDIGARH: Former Aam Aadmi Party MP Dharamvira Gandhi on Monday joined the Congress and is likely to be fielded as its candidate from Patiala Lok Sabha seat, where the BJP has fielded incumbent MP Preneet Kaur.

Kaur, wife of ex- CM Amarinder Singh, joined the BJP recently. It will be after 32 years that the BJP will contest parliamentary elections from Patiala. Gandhi, a doctor, quit the AAP in 2016 and formed his own outfit Nawan Punjab Party, which he merged with the Congress.

Gandhi said the Congress is fighting against communal polarisation and threat to democracy and the Constitution. “Lok Sabha elections are crucial as they would decide the course the country will take. It is important to stand with the right (party) and that’s why I have joined the Congress,’’ he added. AAP has fielded state health minister Balbir Singh from Patiala, which, according to analysts, is likely to see a tough contest. In 2014 LS polls, Gandhi as an AAP candidate beat Kaur by over 20,000 votes.

In April 2015, AAP suspended Gandhi from the party when he raised his voice against expulsion of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from its national executive. He contested the 2019 LS elections from Patiala as a candidate of his own outfit but lost to Kaur. Cngress leader Pawan Khera, AICC in-charge for Punjab, Devendra Yadav, and welcomed Gandhi into the party fold.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

11 Days ago