Three-time Punjab cabinet minister Jagmohan Kang, who was denied party nomination for contesting the February 20 assembly polls, parted ways with the Congress on Tuesday after serving it 47 years and joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Earlier, Kang, who is known for proximity with Congress leader Ambika Soni, announced to field his son from Kharar.
Kang faced defeat in the 2017 Assembly polls by a slender margin of 2,000 votes from journalist-turned-politician Kanwar Sandhu, now AAP rebel.
Since the code of conduct, two veteran Congress leaders have joined AAP.
Kang joined AAP along his two sons — Yadvinder Kang and Amarinder Kang.
The three leaders joined in the presence of AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab affairs co-in-charge Raghav Chadha.
Kang was Vice President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.
He has been elected MLA thrice — 1992-97, 2002-2007 and 2012-2017 — and was a minister in the Congress government from 1992 to 1995.
Kang is an influential leader in Punjab and has a deep hold among the people of Kharar and Anandpur Sahib region.
His younger son Amarinder was the state general secretary of the social media wing of the Congress. He has been active in the politics of Kharar and Anandpur Sahib.
His elder son Yadvind is a member of the Zilla Parishad (Khijrabad) and has been an active Congress leader.
After joining AAP, Jagmohan Kang said the people of Punjab are fed up with the mutual discord between the Congressmen. The Congress has now become a party of opportunists and power-greedy people. The poor and common people have to bear the brunt of their tussle for the power.
‘People of Punjab deserve better government, I have decided to support Aam Aadmi Party so that a pro-people government can be formed in our state,’ he told the media.
Congress has pitted a liquor businessman and Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s close confidante Vijay Sharma Tinku against Punjabi singer Anmol Gagan Mann, 31, of AAP as its candidate from Kharar constituency in Mohali district.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has fielded realtor Ranjit Singh Gill as its candidate. He finished third in 2017.
The Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) has fielded Kamaldeep Saini and the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM) fielded Paramdeep Singh Baidwan.
In the Kharar municipal elections in February last year, AAP won only one seat of the 27. The Congress got 10, followed by eight each to SAD and Independents.