Santokh Singh Salana, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate for this seat in the coming assembly elections, is open for replacement, as he said on Friday, to defend himself after it came out that the Haryana government had dismissed him as canal patwari.
“Being busy in a public movement of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), I could not attend office and so was sacked for this reason,” Salana defended himself at a press conference here. “It is not a criminal offence.” Earlier, he had claimed that he had quit the job. Salana said his party’s political affairs committee (PAC) was looking into the matter and he was ready to accept its decision. “Even if the party replace me,” he said, “I will remain with the party.”
Since the AAP released its first list of candidates in early August, some members are upset over ticket to Salana. On August 19, AAP circle in-charge Prahlad Singh Majri, youth incharge Rajdeep Singh Badla, and circle youth in-charge Manpreet Nanowal went over to party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi and he agreed to look into the matter. Supporters of ticket aspirant Manjinder Singh ‘Romi’ said a sacked government employee could not be AAP candidate.
In the February 2007 dismissal letter, the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) water services circle of Ambala reported Salana absent from duty since January 30, 2003, and that he failed to join despite several notices. Salana said he had to give time to Kanshi Ram Bachao Sangharsh Committee “after I heard that BSP leader Mayawati had taken the party founder captive”.