Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab affairs incharge Sanjay Singh on Sunday said that after assuming power in the state following the 2017 Assembly polls, their party would order a probe into the “misdeeds” of both Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal and state Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh.
In terms of gathering an impressive crowd, the AAP matched the traditional parties SAD and Congress. The crowd was responsive and remained seated till the last. Sanjay Singh announced that party convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal would sound the poll bugle at the Maghi rally in Muktsar on January 14.
During the four-hour-long rally, AAP leaders harped on the issue that both Congress and SAD-BJP were two sides of the same coin, called their leadership corrupt and highlighted that only Kejriwal could end corruption.
Addressing his maiden rally from an AAP platform, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who recently joined the party, said Capt Amarinder Singh and the Badal family were playing a friendly match and befooling the public. “Now, I will expose Amarinder and the Badals. Why are the Badals lenient on the corruption cases against Amarinder, and why didn’t Amarinder challenge the acquittal of the Badals in a corruption case? Amarinder should clarify why he opposed the shifting of the drug case probe against Bikram Majithia to the CBI,” Khaira asked, adding, “Both Badal and Amarinder families have reached a tacit agreement to favour each other. As I came to know about their fixed match, I joined the AAP as I am against corruption.”
Punjab party convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur said Badal is the only Sikh leader who had vast political and religious powers, but he misused them for promotion of his family. “Don’t trust him if he says the Panth is in danger. This time, he is in danger of losing everything,” said Chhotepur, who dubbed Badal as the “biggest enemy” of Sikhs. He said Badal had proved worse than the East India Company in terms of looting the state wealth.
Addressing the gathering, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said, “Before the AAP, Punjabis had no alternative. Either they had to vote for the SAD or Congress. This was exploited by their leaders. People would indulge in negative voting, as they would vote to defeat someone and not to elect someone. Now, you have the option to do positive voting, as the AAP promises you a better future and a corruption-free government.”
Mann said, “The Congress and Akalis are two stones of the chakki, and public like grains is being ground between them. Now it’s time to save the grains (public) by sweeping them with a jhaddu (broom).”
Congressmen join AAP
Welcoming Congress leader and former MLA Jagtar Singh Rajla and former IG Paramjit Singh Sarao into the party fold, Sanjay Singh said the leaders were joining them as they felt that the AAP is a real political force in Punjab, which could provide the rule of law and end corruption. “They are joining as volunteers and the party will give them due responsibility,” he said, adding that many other leaders were in touch with them to join the AAP, but only those with honest credentials would be taken into the fold.
‘Putting on airs’
As Punjab AAP convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur was addressing the rally, the chopper of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal flew over the venue. Reacting to it, Chhotepur said, “By remaining in air, Badal has lost touch with the masses. The public will ground him in the 2017 polls.”
Dream of corruption-free govt
AAP Punjab incharge Sanjay Singh cited the example of elderly Anoop Singh. He said Anoop attended every rally, worked for the AAP, spread its ideology, but never asked for a seat on the stage or ticket for anyone. “His only dream is to see a corruption-free government and restore the old glory of Punjab. Hope you will help the elderly man live his dream,” he said.
The AAP also released a book by Gurvinder Singh, who was injured in a road accident involving the bus of the Badals. He has written poems related to the AAP’s struggle and the need for the Lokpal bill in India.
The crowd at the AAP rally was responsive. As AAP organisation secretary Durgesh Pathak referred to revenue minister Bikram Majithia as “Majithia saab”, the crowd objected to it and asked him to withdraw the word “saab”.