SAMANA: Balbir Singh will be the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Patiala Urban constituency and will contest against Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh in the 2017 state Assembly polls, the national convenor of the party, Arvind Kejriwal announced today. Singh, a medical practitioner and a former associate of suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi, had campaigned for the latter before the 2014 Lok Sabha election, before parting ways with him.
He later told reporters, "Now, it is the turn of the 'Maharaja' (Amarinder) to face defeat. Earlier, the AAP had packed the bags of the 'Maharani' (Amarinder's wife Preneet Kaur) in the Parliamentary election." Attacking the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab, Kejriwal alleged that the Badals (Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal) were spending money to ensure that Amarinder formed the government in the state after the polls due early next year. The Delhi chief minister claimed that the Badals knew that the people were annoyed with the SAD-BJP combine and only Amarinder's victory could ensure its "safety".
Earlier, the police had to resort to a lathicharge to disperse Congress workers who had blocked the Patiala-Samana road on Kejriwal's route to the venue of the programme. Protests were staged by Congress workers against the AAP leader at different places along his route.