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Punjab Assembly election 2017: Congress wary after Kejriwal predicts AAP will repeat Delhi performance

The AAP is set to win the Punjab assembly elections, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday, adding he expected the Congress to finish a distant second. "We are winning (in Punjab)," Kejriwal told a group of journalists at his residence in New Delhi. "Delhi will be repeated in Punjab."

He said the Congress may be the runner up in the Punjab battle. "The Akalis are in a bad shape." He said the party now had workers in every pooling booth and had started door to door campaigning all across Punjab. "By the time others wake up, their game will be over," he said, drawing a parallel with Delhi.

Kejriwal had led the Aam Aadmi Party to a sweeping win in February 2015 in Delhi, where it secured 67 of the 70 seats.

Asked who would be the AAP's chief ministerial candidate, he replied: "We will reveal that at the right moment."

Arvind Kejriwal. File photo. PTI

Arvind Kejriwal. File photo. PTI

Kejriwal, however, said his party was not looking at the next Lok Sabha elections now and would not contest the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in 2017.

"We will go step by step. We don't have the bandwidth in UP."

Meanwhile, Congress chief for Punjab, Amarinder Singh told The Indian Express that he sees no competition in the Akali Dal or space for a third force in Punjab's political scene but said that he is still wary of the AAP that is emerging in Punjab.

"This is not the Delhi AAP. That is a citizen’s AAP. Here, you’ve on one side the extreme left, cadres are breaking from the Congress and joining, then you have the frustrated youth, then on the extreme right, you’ve the Khalsitanis joining. That is going to be, to my mind, a destabilising force for Punjab...Here it’s a dangerous AAP that is emerging for the peace of Punjab."

Singh told The Indian Express that even though the Congress is not looking to form a mahagathbandhan, like they did in Bihar, they would definitely like for the secular forces of Punjab to come together. "Left parties I’m concerned about because though they got only 2.4 percent of the vote in the parliamentary elections, they are losing their cadres, who seem to be going towards AAP."

Gurpreet Ghuggi, a well-known Punjabi comedian, joined AAP recently. He is the second famous comedian, after Bhagwat Mann, to join the party. Kejriwal himself is going big with campaigning in Punjab. Captain Singh in the past had accused the AAP of "engaging in disruptive and destabilising tactics for short term political gains that could create anarchy" after a poster showing Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale along with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders surfaced in the election-bound state.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Feb 12, 2016 07:49 AM

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