Punjab AAP leaders servile to some from Delhi; Kejri should act: Jassi

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2016 22:43 IST
Expelled AAP leader Jassi Jasraj interacting with the media in Chandigarh on Saturday. (Ravi Kumar/HT Photo)

Expelled Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Jassi Jasraj has said the party’s Punjab leaders were “servile” to a handful of “corrupt” Delhi leaders due to which the morale of workers was taking a hit.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Jasraj, who was expelled from the AAP for six years in April this year for anti-party activities, said AAP leaders in Punjab had become so desperate for power that they were ready to touch the feet of “so-called” Delhi leaders who had played no role in getting AAP over 33-lakh votes during the 2014 parliamentary polls.

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The singer-turned-politician, whose full name is Jasraj Singh Longia, had lost the Bathinda parliamentary seat in 2014 and had secured nearly 88,000 votes. Jassi’s expulsion followed his tirade against party leaders through videos, attacking them for what he perceived as “lack of democracy” within the party.

On Saturday, he said though he had been thrown out of the party, he believed in the honesty and dedication of party convener Arvind Kejriwal. “Kejriwal does not know what the Delhi leaders are doing in Punjab. They are exploiting the party and indulging in all kinds of corruption. The local leaders are not going to say anything against them because they are hankering for positions. I will bring all this to Kejriwal’s notice,” he said, adding that he will try to meet him during his visit to the Golden Temple on July 18.

Refuting the charges, AAP’s state convener Such Singh Chhotepur said Jasraj’s allegations were baseless. “He is a free man and can say anything he likes. He is not in the party.”

Also read | After manifesto gaffe, AAP divided on playing religion, dera cards in state

Alleging corruption in collection of party funds, Jasraj said the party’s social media in-charge Gajender collected Rs 2.31 lakh from supporters without issuing receipts. He said the party bought 5,000 speakers priced at Rs 1,350 for Rs 5,000 each.

Gajender, however, said he didn’t collect a single penny from anyone in the state. “The cost of the speaker was Rs 5,000 each, not Rs 1,350,” he said.

Demanding action against Ashish Khetan and state youth wing in-charge Harjot Bains, Jasraj said, “I was penalised for my mistakes. But no action has been taken by the party against Bains, who organised the manifesto show, and Khetan who made the blasphemous statements. Why double standards?”

When asked who he thought should be AAP’s chief ministerial candidate, Jasraj said advocate Harvinder Singh Phoolka will be the right choice.

“AAP would benefit if it brings its estranged leaders Dharamvira Gandhi, Daljit Singh and Harinder Singh Khalsa back to the fold. The party is damaging itself by giving space to discarded leaders of Congress and SAD and tainted bureaucrats,” he said.

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