SHIMLA: In a major setback to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), its Himachal Pradesh unit chief Anoop Kesari and two other senior leaders joined the ruling BJP late on Friday night, hours before party president JP Nadda’s roadshow in Shimla.
The jolt to the AAP came merely three days after party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held an impressive roadshow in Mandi district and promised to deliver a corruption-free government if the party is voted to power.
The two other leaders who jumped to the BJP are AAP’s state organisation general secretary Satish Thakur and Una district unit president Iqbal Singh. All the three leaders were accompanied by Union Minister Anurag Thakur to the residence of Nadda in New Delhi where they formally joined the saffron camp. Thakur is said to have managed to the show.
Nadda will be on a four-day visit to Himachal Pradesh starting from Saturday till April 12.
AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal held a roadshow and rally in Mandi on Wednesday. The rally was attended by thousands of supporters from various parts of the state.
Reacting to the development, senior AAP leaders said that the rising popularity of the party in the hill states has made the ruling BJP nervous.
Delhi Deputy CM and senior party leader Manish Sisodia said that the party was about to sack the three turncoats, claiming there were complaints against them by a few female party leaders.
“Mahilaon ke khilaf gandi harkatein ke arop me party inhe nikalne wali thi, aise logon ki jagah BJP mein hi hai (The party was about to expel them for their dirty actions against females. BJP is right place for such people)” he said in a tweet.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said that the people of Himachal Pradesh had faith in the party which would deliver an honest and patriotic government in the state.
“These people (BJP) are afraid of the public. They are not afraid of me. If they had worked honestly for the public, then there would not have been so much fear. There would have been no need to change the CM, there would have been no need to fall at the feet of the tainted leaders of other parties. People have faith in AAP. AAP will give a staunchly honest and patriotic government to HP,” he said.
Sisodia had earlier issued a statement stating that the BJP was going to replace sitting Chief Minister Jairam Thakur with Union Minister Anurag Thakur. His claims, however, were refuted by Jairam Thakur himself.
BJP national president JP Nadda on Saturday landed in Himachal Pradesh to hold a roadshow and hold party meetings in the state capital Shimla.