Sitting Punjab AAP legislator joins Congress

The Congress got a major boost in Bathinda parliamentary constituency on Thursday with sitting Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Nazar Singh Manshahia joining the party.

The 56-year engineering graduate from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College had won the 2017 Assembly elections from Mansa, polling about 40% votes, and Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said his joining would further strengthen the Congress, which was riding a wave of strong public mood in its favour.

Welcoming him on board, the chief minister said like-minded people from other parties, who had the interest of the state at heart, were joining the Congress in Punjab in large numbers. It was a clear sign of complete disillusionment within AAP, which had lost its locus standii amid a party-wide rebellion.

Manshahia, who had taken a premature retirement from Punjab Pollution Control Board in 2015 after serving as senior environmental engineer in the department, said he wanted to serve the people of Punjab, which he felt the Congress was best equipped to do. AAP had completely lost the narrative in Punjab, with no positively agenda or ideology to guide it, he added.

A first-time MLA, Manshahia was Member of House Committee and Committee on Farmers Suicides and Farm Labourers of Punjab Vidhan Sabha (2017-18). He is currently Member of Committee on Government Assurances of Punjab Vidhan Sabha (2018-19).