The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set to initiate its “Bolda Punjab” series of dialogue with various segments of society to prepare its manifesto for the 2017 assembly polls. The first of these meetings will be on Saturday (April 23) in SAS Nagar.
The party’s manifesto for the youth is expected to be ready by the first week of June and party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal is expected to release it. “Other than youth, one of our prime areas of focus, dialogue with farmers, traders, industrialists, NRIs (non-resident Indians), government employees, labourers, ex-servicemen, and professionals will be held in the coming months,” said former journalist, Kanwar Sandhu, who heads the Punjab manifesto committee of the party.
He said his team of half-a-dozen members would hold structured public meetings to learn about the hardships these sections of society had faced under different Punjab governments. “The issues to be discussed include drug menace, unemployment, and suicide by farmers, besides corruption in public offices; deteriorating state of health and education; rule of mafia in the sand, land, liquor, drugs, transport, and cable network business; crimes against women; atrocities against Dalits, and housing woes,” said Sandhu.
“The Punjab dialogue is not an anti-dote to ‘Coffee with Captain’. Our effort is a serious exercise to gather feedback, which will be reflected in our manifesto. It will set the course of our journey in Punjab for the next five years. The AAP was the first to do it, in Delhi when it was called Delhi Dialogue, prior to the polls there,” said the former journalist.
The exercise will end in September, following which the rest of the manifestoes will be released.
Kanwar Sandhu, senior journalist
Chandra Suta Dogra, journalist
Gagandeep Singh Chadha, financial and education consultant
Gurinder Singh Birring, MBA from Oxford, product manager and software engineer
Raghu Mahajan, IIT graduate, Cambridge postgraduate; pursuing PhD from Stanford
Mohammad Ovais, manager, banking MNC
Dr Sarita, senior ENT surgeon
Who all have joined AAP
Parminder Kaur, Punjab Women’s commission ex-chairperson and former All-India Mahila Congress general secretary, also served as Mahila Congress vice-president and in charge of it in Maharashtra and Goa
Hardeep Grewal, international hockey player, participated in the 1984 Olympic in Los Angeles, 1986 Asian Games in Seoul and 1986 World Cup in London
Jagdeep Gill, international hockey player, received Punjab government’s Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award, participated in the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.
Advocate Narinder Singh Tiwana, former Fatehgarh Sahib district bar association president, trustee of Baba Banda Singh Singh Bahadur Engineering College, left the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), was considered close to late Akali stalwart Gurcharan Singh Tohra and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Advocate Parmajit Singh Pamma, Nangal municipal councillor and former block Congress president, once a confidant of former Nangal legislator Rana KP Singh, parted ways with him some years ago.