The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday fielded former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan from the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019 due by May. The development came months after Dhawan had in late 2018 quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to join the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. Dhawan, who had been maintaining distance from the BJP since 2018, remained conspicuous by his absence in party events. He also made headlines with his move of hosting leaders like Shatrughan Sinha and Yashwant Sinha, who had been critical of the BJP.
While resigning from the party, Dhawan accused the BJP of not keeping a single promise made to people of Chandigarh in the 2014 manifesto. "I joined politics to serve people and when promises made to people are not being kept, why should I be in such a party?" the minister quoted as saying.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, Gul Panag contested on AAP ticket from Chandigarh and came third, securing 1.08 lakh votes. She was defeated by BJP leader Kirron Kher, who is the incumbent Member of Parliament, Chandigarh.
Talking about the upcoming General Elections later in the year, the BJP is likely to repeat Kirron Kher as its candidate while the Congress may field Pawan Bansal from Chandigarh.
Dhawan, who was the Member of Parliament from Chandigarh in 1989 from Janta Party, also served as Civil Aviation Minister in the Chandra Shekhar Cabinet. He was associated with various political parties, including Samajwadi Janata Party, Indian National Lok Dal, Chandigarh Vikas Manch, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress in his over 40 years of political career.