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Punjab: Big blow to Congress, former minister Joginder Mann joins AAP

Chandigarh. Former Punjab minister Joginder Singh Maan on Saturday joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a day after breaking 50-year-old ties with the Congress ahead of the assembly elections. AAP leader and co-in-charge of Punjab Raghav Chadha said Mann’s joining would give a lot of strength to the party in the state.

In a tweet, Chadha said, “Inspired by Arvind Kejriwal ji’s vision, former Punjab cabinet minister and three-time MLA Joginder Singh Mann ji joined AAP, ending his 50-year-old association with Congress. He was the chairman of Punjab Agro Industries Corporation.” “Mann’s joining will give a lot of strength to AAP’s unit in Punjab,” Chadha said.

Chadha also shared a photograph which shows Mann joining the party in the presence of AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal. Mann, a Scheduled Caste (SC) class leader, was upset with the Congress over “no action” against the accused in the alleged multi-crore post-matric SC scholarship scam and not granting district status to Phagwara. Mann resigned from the Congress and as the chairman of Punjab Agro Industries Corporation.

In a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Mann, a three-time MLA from Phagwara, said he had a dream that he would remain a Congress leader throughout his life. Mann had served as a minister in the cabinets of Beant Singh, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Amarinder Singh. Mann had said in the letter, “The Congress is giving protection to the culprits of the post-matriculation scholarship scheme, so my conscience does not allow me to be in the party.” Polling for 117 assembly seats in Punjab will be held on February 14 and results will be declared on March 10.

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