NEW DELHI: In a setback to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), two party leaders on Sunday resigned and joined hands with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) along with their supporters ahead of the Shahkot Assembly bypoll scheduled to be held on May 28.
H S Walia and C D Singh Kamboj joined the SAD in presence of the party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Welcoming Walia and Kamboj, Badal said, "I heartily welcome H S Walia, AAP leader from Jalandhar Cantonment, and Col. (Retd.) CD Singh Kamboj, a Kamboj leader from Shahkot, along with their number of supporters as well as local leaders in the party fold."
The SAD supremo further said, "Our Shahkot campaign has got momentum with these two leaders joining the SAD unconditionally. Walia contested 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections from Jalandhar Cantonment area on AAP ticket while Col. Kamboj is known for his statesmanlike conduct and strategic thinking in state politics.
I heartily welcome H S Walia, AAP leader from Jalandhar Cantonment, and Col. (Retd.) CD Singh Kamboj, a Kamboj leader from Shahkot, along with their number of supporters as well as local leaders in the party fold./1 pic.twitter.com/QULFbahRy0
— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) May 20, 2018
On the occasion, Kamboj said that he joined the SAD to ensure the defeat of Congress' Hardev Singh Laadi in the Assembly bye-election.
Detailing how Laadi had "insulted" the Kamboj community after his 2017 Assembly election loss, he said, "The community is very upset with him."
"In fact, people with dubious reputation like Laadi are being rewarded with party tickets. This shows the moral bankruptcy of the Congress," Kamboj alleged.
Earlier, AAP leader H S Walia, who had contested 2017 Assembly polls from Jalandhar Cantonment seat, also joined SAD.
Walia said he was joining the SAD due to its "pro-people" policies as well as the party's desire to take all sections of society with it.
"I earlier joined AAP because it professed idealism. However I slowly realised that the party had become thoroughly corrupt and was not concerned about Punjabis and their problems. Moreover, AAP is being run from Delhi by Arvind Kejriwal who does not give any weightage to the local leadership," Walia alleged.
Notably, on May 17, senior Congress leader and former home minister Brij Bhupinder Singh Lalli had joined the SAD.
(With inputs from PTI)