Rift in AAP: Party’s 2017 poll prospects receive jolt

  • Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Apr 06, 2015 13:55 IST

With cracks widening in the Punjab unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), its prospects of a good performance in the 2017 state assembly elections have received a jolt.

Dreamed of changing corridors of power in Punjab in the 2017 polls, the party has been caught in ideological differences with its state leaders singing different tunes.

“Things worsened after the party’s undemocratic national council meet on March 28, which dented the aspirations of people in Punjab,” said Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, who has been facing ire for supporting party’s founding members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.

The party has expelled Manjit Singh, a former professor of Panjab University, Jyoti Mann, former AAP MP, besides issuing show-cause notice to Bhai Baldeep Singh, party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Khadoor Sahib for criticising the party’s approach towards Yadav and Bhushan.

“Everyone who is raising voice for the party’s welfare has been shown the door. After a series of expulsions and showcause notices, I may be next in line,” said Dr Gandhi.

He said in a democratic setup, everyone should be allowed to speak and raise important issues of the party principles and intraparty democracy.

Countering Dr Gandhi, party’s MP from Fatehgarh Sahib Harinder Singh Khalsa said there was a difference between raising voice and indiscipline. “How will the party run when there is no discipline?” Khalsa questioned, adding that stringent action should be taken against those involved in antiparty activities.

“Dr Gandhi should quit if he feels the party’s moves are unethical. Instead of speaking against the party, he should submit his resignation,” said Khalsa.

With AAP turning out to be a favourite destination for turncoats to save their political career, party MPs from Punjab have decided to take up the issue with senior leadership. AAP national leader and in charge for Punjab Sanjay Singh will hold meeting with MPs, district conveners and other senior leaders in SAS Nagar on Monday on the issue.

Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi has not been invited to attend the meeting. However, other three MPs from Faridkot, Sangrur and Fatehgarh Sahib will attend the meeting.

After success in the Lok Sabha and the Delhi assembly elections, AAP’s state unit included many leaders from other parties into its fold without verifying their political past. Former state president of the Bahujan Samaj Party Parkash Singh Jandiali, who was facing allegations of anti-party activities and alleged irregularities in the party’s financial accounts, joined AAP in the presence party convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur two days ago. He was expelled from the BSP last year.

There were reports that Congress spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira would join AAP. “Chhotepur has been vitiating the party by allowing anyone from any party to join AAP. This must be stopped since it is giving wrong message to the masses,” said Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa.

Supporting Khalsa’s views, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said: “The issue is serious and will be discussed at the meeting. If AAP continues to induct leaders from other parties without knowing their background, it will meet the fate of the People’s Party of Punjab,” said Mann.

Chhotepur said leaders of other parties were inducted into AAP after taking Arvind Kejriwal into confidence.

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