With an agenda to become a political alternative in Haryana, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sees "positivity" in the controversial khap panchayats (caste councils).
Talking to the newspersons here on Saturday, key political strategist of the AAP, Yogendra Yadav, said that the khaps were part of the age-old social setup and had contributed immensely to society.
However, he clarified that the official election manifesto would be rolled out soon, in which party's stand would be clear on khaps and others issues relevant in Haryana.
"No one can justify murders (read honour killings) at any cost and we also condemn such things. But khaps have done various positive activities and it should be appreciated," he told reporters without pointing out any particular incident.
Khaps, which are self-styled unelected councils, have been demanding amendment to Hindu marriage law to prevent marriages within the same 'gotra' or clan.
Several cases of honour killings have been reported in the state in the last few years where leaders of such councils remained allegedly instrumental behind the murders of young adult couples, who had married against the customs.
However, Yadav said that negligible support of the womenfolk to the political outfit was worrisome and urged the party activists to make extra efforts to rope in women to ensure a socio-political change in the state.
"Presence of women in AAP in Haryana is just symbolic and no meaningful change in society is worth appreciating if it has no participation of the women," said Yadav, while addressing workers at Ram Lila ground.
Party claims to have more than 12,000 members in the district and there was a very thin presence in accordance with the figures of total enrollment.
Middle-aged people were in majority at Saturday's function.
However, Yadav said that the party was receiving an overwhelming response from all districts of the state and the AAP would contest on all 10 Lok Sabha and 90 assembly seats.
He said that corruption was a major issue in Haryana and hoped that the party would emerge as a firm political alternative to curb the menace.
Taking a dig at the Bhupinder Singh Hooda regime, Yadav said that it was shocking to see that out of 30 candidates recently selected in Haryana Civil Service (HCS), 20 were related to the Congressmen and officials considered close to the ruling government.
"Volunteers from Haryana were the main workforce behind the AAP's campaigning and success in Delhi assembly elections. We are sure that the Congress, INLD and HJC would be routed in the next elections," he said.
Yadav said that it was heartening to get support from professionals and people from all walks of life.
However, he cautioned that the party had no place for those who were joining to contest elections.
"It is a party of commoners who volunteer to help in bringing changes and if anyone has a dream of becoming a leader then this is not the right platform for them," he said.
Though Yadav confirmed to contest forthcoming elections in Haryana, but he said that it was yet to be decided if it would be for parliament of assembly.
Dig at media
Yadav said that had the media avoided airing fabricated sting operations just 4-5 days ahead of the Delhi elections, the party could have formed the government on its own.
"These reports and stings are now proved shallow but the media reported without authenticating the facts. It affected AAP's prospects. I urge the media in Haryana to put restrain on similar unfounded activities," he said.
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