Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has often accused the state government of denying them permission to hold rallies, now seems least bothered about rules and regulations.
Of late, the party has not sought permissions to hold most of their public gatherings and nukkad meetings in Mansa.
AAP has announced their candidates for all three assembly seats — Mansa, Budhlada and Sardulgarh. The party candidates have been campaigning aggressively by roping in popular faces in their campaign. In the last one month, the party has held four rallies and several nukkad meetings where prominent faces like MP Bhagwant Mann, co-incharge of Punjab affairs Jarnail Singh and Sukhpal Singh Khaira addressed gatherings in rural and urban areas.
However, when enquired, the three sub-divisional magistrates posted in the district denied having issued any permission to the AAP for holding such rallies.
“No permission for such meetings or rallies has been issued by my office,” Mansa SDM Kala Ram Kansal said. Budhlada sub-divisional magistrate Nitish Singla said he was not aware of any such public meetings even though AAP MP Bhagwant Mann held a rally here in November.
The party’s campaign involves announcement on loudspeakers, meetings in residential areas of urban and rural pocket in their constituencies. The party’s candidate from Mansa, Nazar Singh Manshahia said that they don’t find it necessary to take permissions to hold small gatherings.
“We sought permission for one of Bhagwant Mann’s rallies. However, for Sukhpal Khaira’s meeting we never sought any permission,” Manshahia said.
Budhlada candidate Budh Ram said that he was using a low-intensity mic-cum-loudspeaker that doesn’t warrant permission.
“I heard that even the Mansa candidate has not applied for permission, so I am only following the suit,” Budh Ram said.
The party is also running projector shows in the rural areas of the district.
“So far we have done around 100 nukkad sabhas in Mansa constituency and we are not sure of permission from the district authorities,” Nazar Singh said.
Former sub-divisional magistrate of Mansa Rakesh Kumar said that proper permission for venue and usage of loudspeaker is issued before any public gathering is held.
“After receiving the request for a rally, we seek opinion of the station house officers over the chosen venue and use of loudspeaker. The audio equipments can be confiscated if such public meetings don’t have proper permission,” Kumar said.