The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday dissolved all its units — from block-level to the state committee — in Punjab and decided to reconstitute these with a promise to give more representation to local volunteers in the new party set-up.
The move comes a week after comedian-turned-politician and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann was appointed party’s Punjab unit president replacing Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi.
The meeting, chaired by Mann (his first after taking over the party reins in Punjab), decided to divide each assembly constituency into three blocks. Each block will have a president, vice-presidents and office-bearers, number of which would be decided later. The decision is being seen as a move to win back party volunteers who were feeling dejected and disillusioned after AAP’s defeat in the Punjab assembly elections.
AAP senior leaders, including Dakha MLA and leader of Opposition HS Phoolka, MP Sadhu Singh, MLA and co-president Aman Arora and MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira attended the meeting. The day-long meeting was attended by all 20 MLAs, party candidates, zone co-coordinators and other office-bearers.
The party will launch ‘AAP Apneya Naal’ (AAP with own people) programme from May 18 under which Aman Arora will meet party volunteers and office-bearers throughout the state and seek suggestions from them regarding new office-bearers.
The party also decided to contest Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypolls. The constituency fell vacant after the death of sitting MP Vinod Khanna last month.
Mann said rumours and misinformation being spread by the Congress, Akali Dal and the BJP will not affect the AAP and the party will bounce back with more strength.
“Lakhs of volunteers are still connected with the party, which will continue to raise issues of public concern,” he said, adding that the AAP will create pressure on the government to act against the “corrupt ministers” of the previous Akali government.
Answering a query about infighting in the party, Mann said the AAP is like a family and there can be differences of opinion and these will be sorted out soon.
He said efforts will be made to placate those who got separated from the party in the past.
Accusing the Captain Amarinder Singh government of following in the footsteps of the Akalis, Phoolka questioned in what capacity CM’s wife Preneet Kaur was inaugurating projects in the state.