Badal acknowledges AAP 'mushrooming' in Punjab

Ludhiana: After being in denial that the AAP had no standing in Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday admitted that the young party was now "mushrooming" in the state. Addressing a gathering to mark the martyrdom day of revolutionary Karnail Singh Issru, who died during the liberation of Goa from Portuguese, in Issru village in Ludhiana district, Badal said the electorate of Punjab should be wary of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress as both were "anti Punjab, anti-Sikh and anti-farmers". "I urge the people of Punjab not to blindly justify the sinister moves of these parties as both these parties are inimical to the interests of the state and are constantly working against the interests of its people," said Badal, who is also the Shiromani Akali Dal chief patron. Assembly elections in Punjab are to be held in February 2017 and the emergence of the AAP as a challenger to the Akali Dal-BJP combine and the Congress could make the contest triangular on all 117 assembly seats. Attacking the AAP, Badal said: "In the garb of 'Aam Aadmi' (common man), this party is in fact a band of fugitives and opportunists who are vying to attain political power at every cost. "This new party, which is now mushrooming in the state, has no sympathy with the people of Punjab. The AAP government in Delhi has taken a stand contrary to the interests of Punjab on the issue of SYL in the apex (Supreme) court."