AAP Fields Former Congress Leader Ashok Parashar Pappi for Ludhiana Lok Sabha Seat

AAP fields ex-Congress MLA Pappi for Ludhiana LS seat, challenging BJP's Bittu. Party aims to sweep all 13 Punjab LS seats in 2024 polls, as CM Mann expresses confidence in their victory.

Sakchi Khandelwal
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AAP Fields Former Congress Leader Ashok Parashar Pappi for Ludhiana Lok Sabha Seat

AAP Fields Former Congress Leader Ashok Parashar Pappi for Ludhiana Lok Sabha Seat

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has announced Ashok Parashar Pappi, a former Congress member and sitting MLA from Ludhiana Central, as its candidate for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency in the upcoming 2024 general election. Pappi, who won the 2022 Punjab Assembly election on an AAP ticket after previously facing defeat as a Congress candidate in 2012, expressed appreciation to the party leadership for entrusting him with the responsibility.

In the parliamentary polls, Pappi will face off against BJP candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu, a three-time Member of Parliament who recently switched from the Congress party. Pappi took a dig at Bittu, alleging that the people have seen his lack of presence in Ludhiana over the past 10 years and that he only visits the city during votes. As a self-made businessman, Pappi faces the challenge of gaining support in the rural areas of Dakha, Gill, and Jagraon, where he has not previously engaged with voters.

The Aam Aadmi Party has now declared candidates for all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, with Pappi being one of four new candidates announced in the party's third and final list. The other three candidates are sitting MLAs Jagdeep Singh Kaka Brar (Ferozepur), Amansher Singh Shery Kalsi (Gurdaspur), and former Akali Dal MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu, who recently joined AAP and will contest from the Jalandhar (SC) seat.

Five cabinet ministers of the AAP government in Punjab are also in the fray for the Lok Sabha elections, along with two other turncoats fielded by the party. AAP is contesting the parliamentary polls on its own in the state as part of the opposition INDIA bloc. Polling for Punjab's 13 seats will be held in the last phase on June 1, 2024.

Why this matters: The Aam Aadmi Party's decision to field a former Congress leader and current MLA as its candidate for the high-profile Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat highlights the party's strategy to expand its base and challenge established players in the upcoming general election. The outcome of this contest could provide insights into AAP's prospects in Punjab and its ability to make inroads in national politics.

Pappi's candidacy announcement came as he paid obeisance at religious places and paid tributes to martyrs in Ludhiana. The Aam Aadmi Party, which formed the government in Punjab after a resounding victory in the 2022 Assembly polls, is eyeing all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann expressed confidence that all AAP candidates will win by huge margins, while the candidates themselves thanked the party leadership and pledged to serve the people and fulfill the party's promises.

Key Takeaways

  • AAP announces Ashok Parashar Pappi as its Ludhiana LS candidate for 2024 polls.
  • Pappi, a former Congress MLA, faces BJP's Ravneet Singh Bittu in Ludhiana.
  • AAP declares candidates for all 13 LS seats in Punjab, including 4 new faces.
  • 5 AAP cabinet ministers and 2 turncoats are also in the fray for LS polls.
  • AAP aims to win all 13 LS seats in Punjab, says CM Bhagwant Mann.