Haryana AAP leader Ashok Tanwar quits over “alignment” with Congress; likely to join the BJP on January 20

Published - January 19, 2024 12:27 am IST - GURUGRAM

Aam Aadmi Party campaign committee chairman and former Sirsa Lok Sabha MP Ashok Tanwar on Thursday resigned from the party’s primary membership citing its “alignment” with the Congress. He is likely to join the Bharatiya Janta Party at its Delhi headquarters on Saturday.

“In view of the current political scenario and your alignment with the Indian National Congress, my ethics won’t allow me to continue as Chairman, Election Campaign Committee, Aam Aadmi Party Haryana,” said Mr. Tanwar, in a letter to AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, resigning from the “primary membership and all other responsibilities” of the party.

His resignation comes close on the heels of AAP national joint secretary Nirmal Singh and his daughter Chitra Sarwara, party’s Haryana vice-president, quitting earlier this month to return to Congress’s fold.

When contacted, Mr. Tanwar refused to comment on his future course of action. However, sources in the BJP said he was in talks with the party for the past two months, and is likely to join at a function at party’s Delhi headquarters on January 20.

Apparently miffed over being denied a Rajya Sabha seat by the AAP, Mr. Tanwar, a prominent Scheduled Caste leader, had stopped attending the party’s meetings in the last week of December 2023, fuelling speculations of an impending resignation.

The rumours gathered strength after his meeting with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Delhi a week ago. “Mr. Tanwar had been bargaining for a Rajya Sabha seat or the post of Haryana state unit president in AAP, but was denied the both,” said an AAP source.

Mr. Tanwar, a former Haryana Congress chief, had quit the party before the assembly polls in 2019 due to sharp differences with former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and had briefly joined the Trinamool Congress in November 2021 before switching over to AAP in August 2022 after the party’s splendid victory in the Punjab Assembly polls.

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