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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Discontent among AAP workers over Balwinder's candidature

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kurukshetra, March 01, 2014
First Published: 17:11 IST(1/3/2014) | Last Updated: 00:31 IST(2/3/2014)

A section of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers are protesting here for the past three days against the choice of Balwinder Kaur as party candidate for Kurukshetra Parliamentary seat. Balwinder is wife of  Gurnam Singh Charuni, who is president of Bhartiya Kisan Union, Haryana. Since Charuni himself is close to AAP supreme Arvind Kejriwal, people were expecting him as a candidate for the Kurukshetra seat. Announcement of Balwinder's name took everybody by surprise.

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The protesters say that Balwinder's application was taken a day before her names was announced, making fool of 36 other applicants who appeared in interviews.

Charuni came to pacify the protesters but he failed to assuage the feelings of the workers.

Members of the district Unit of AAP, namely Raj Kumar Sharma, Satinder Gaur and Om Singh Ashwak, have decided to meet the high command of AAP at Delhi, taking along 1,000 signatures who wanted change of candidate. Raj Kumar Sharma said that Balwinder was not even the primary member of AAP and she was hurriedly made member to announce her nomination.

They alleged that as Charuni was not eligible due to a conviction in a criminal case, his wife was given the party ticket.

Sharma claimed that out of 23-member district committee, 19 were against nomination of Balwinder Kaur. He said that a delegation would go to meet Kejriwal on Monday.   

They have prepared a protest memorandum pointing out that the party was overlooking its own guidelines, under which only one member of a family could be an applicant for a seat.

However, there are others, including press secretary Vishal Khubbar, who have welcomed nomination of Balwinder Kaur. Khubbar claimed that party's decision has been accepted by the workers and no worker would join the fast announced by a few to protest the decision. He claimed that workers would work unitedly to send Balwinder to the Parliament.

It may be pertinent to mention here that Gurnam Singh had organised a function in hounor of Arvinder Kejriwal and Gopal Rai at Kurukshetra immediately after AAP was established last year. The talk about Gurnam Singh contesting next election from Kurukshetra had started at that time, but he did not express his desire openly as the function was organised under the banner of Bhartiya Kissan Union. However, after the victory of AAP in Delhi, Charuni came openly in favour of AAP, and now he claims to have been made permanent invitee to the national council of AAP. Arvind Kejriwal visited Kurukshetra again on February 21 to attend the marriage of Charuni's son.

When asked about the resentment prevailing amongst the AAP workers over her nomination, Balwinder Kaur said that protesters were not AAP workers. She initially refused to comment about the allegation that she was allotted ticket despite her not being an applicant, but subsequently said that "duniya aise hi chalti hai! (World operates like this only)". Thereafter she disconnected her mobile phone and did not pick despite many efforts by this correspondent.

When contacted, Charuni said that only those who have been refused ticket were protesting against nomination of his wife Balwinder Kaur. When pointed out that 19 out of 23 members of local committee of AAP were protesting against Balwant's nomination, he said he knew little about AAP as he was a BKU leader. He said that Balwinder's nomination was done on merit.


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