Denied ticket, AAP MLAs start quitting party

New Delhi: Days after the Aam Aadmi Party announced the list of its candidates for the February 8 Delhi Assembly elections and dropped 15 sitting MLAs, legislators have started quitting the party with Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri and Hari Nagar MLA Jagdeep Singh the latest in the list.

While Shastri, the grandson of late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who won the seat with 59.08 per cent votes in 2015, quit the AAP and joined the Congress on Saturday, Singh also announced that he has resigned from the party.

However, Singh has not revealed his next move.

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Speaking to IANS, Singh said he will reveal the details soon.

Singh was using Kejriwal’s image as his profile picture on his official Twitter profile and changed it on Saturday.

Sitting AAP MLA from Badarpur N. D. Sharma on Tuesday had said that he has resigned from the party and accused party chief Arvind Kejriwal and senior leader Manish Sisodia of taking Rs 20 crore for giving the election ticket to a ‘land mafia’, after he was denied the ticket.

Sharma has joined the Bahujan Samaj Party and will be contesting on its ticket, he confirmed to IANS.

Ram Singh Netaji, a former Congressman and a two-time MLA from Badarpur who joined the AAP on Monday, has replaced Sharma, who got 59.3 per cent votes in 2015.

According to sources, AAP MLA from Delhi Cantonment Surinder Singh is also planning to switch.

However, the ex-serviceman has said he is still with the AAP.

“I haven’t quit the AAP yet. I am yet to take any decision,” he told IANS.

Haji Ishraq, MLA from Seelampur, who was replaced by Abdul Rehman, MCD winner from East Delhi, accused party chief Arvind Kejriwal of being “unhappy” as he asked him to support the Muslims protesting against the NRC and the CAA.

He too said he is taking his time and consulting people before taking any decision.

“I am still considering my options,” Ishraq, who won in 2015 with 51.26 per cent votes, told IANS.

After the ruling Aam Aadmi Party released the list of its candidates on Tuesday for the 70 assembly seats in Delhi and dropped 15 sitting MLAs, the legislators had said the list came to them as a “surprise” and the party did not inform them about this in advance.

The sitting MLAs denied tickets also include Pankaj Pushkar (Timarpur), Ram Chander (Bawana), Sukhbir Dalal (Mundka), Hazari Lal Chauhan (Patel Nagar), Vijender Garg (Rajendra Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Raju Dhingan (Trilokpuri), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Choudhary Fateh Singh (Gokulpur) and Asim Ahmed Khan (Matia Mahal).

Delhi is going to the polls on February 8 as the tenure of the Assembly is ending next month.

Candidates can file their nominations till January 21.

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