Giriraj Rajora, who had contested the 2012 Assembly polls as the Congress candidate from Balluana (reserved) segment and lost by 8,227 votes, has joined the Aam Aadmi Party.Escorted by AAP leaders Ram Singh Bishnoi, Prof Pritam Singh Sidhu and Surinder Saluja, Rajora met MP Bhagwant Mann at Sangrur last evening and was inducted into the party.Rajora (59) said, “Mann has assured that I will be given due respect. I have decided to work as an ordinary activist of the party.”Meanwhile, Mann said in Sangrur that AAP would announce its candidates for all 117 Assembly constituencies by August-end.

Panchayats robbed of rights:Chhotepur

Chandigarh: AAP state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur and party spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Saturday accused the Badals of robbing more than 13,000 gram panchayats of their rights. “Panchayats are being forced to work like puppets on the instructions of Akali Jathedars,” the AAP leaders said.Meanwhile, expelled AAP leader Jassi Jasraj on Saturday alleged that the party’s state unit had been hijacked by the Delhi leadership. Jasraj said he and other leaders were expelled for making mistakes, but Ashish Khetan had been spared despite the manifesto gaffe. — TNSSikh bodies seek Kejriwal’s apologyChandigarh: The All India Sikh Students Federation and the Shiromani Sant Khalsa International Foundation on Saturday asked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to apologise during his July 18 visit to Amritsar over the AAP manifesto gaffe and the magazine cover row.Federation chief Karnail Singh Peermohammad said the AAP national convener’s failure to address the two issues was a sign of arrogance and ignorance. Meanwhile, the federation announced to back the “Punjab Independence” online petition seeking US President Barack Obama’s intervention