The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leadership at the Sunday rally here to release their farmers’ manifesto claimed the document to be “a blueprint for new Punjab”.
Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, state party convener Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi, spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira, and Delhi legislator Jarnail Singh hailed the drafting committee led by former journalist Kanwar Sandhu. “The Bolda Punjab team has prepared a revolutionary manifesto for farmers, not by sitting in the air-conditioned halls of Chandigarh like the Badals (Punjab’s ruling family) but after going door-to-door in villages,” Mann said.
Taking a dig at the Congress and Akali workers holding black flags, the MP said one of them had told him he had been paid Rs 350 for this. “They should have increased their rates during the visit of (Delhi chief minister) Arvind Kejriwal.” “Punjab farmers were known to be happiest. Now they are happy only on PTC (the news channel owned by the ruling Akalis),” Mann said: “Farmers are making their own nooses with the ropes that tie their animals. This is Punjab under Badal rule.”
Ghuggi said: “When the Akali and Congress leaders are having their 25-course meal, somewhere in the state a dejected farmer is committing suicide. To conceal the increasing number, they force doctors to tamper with the autopsy reports.”
On the ouster of some leaders from the party, he said: “Our rivals had started saying ‘jharu teela-teela ho gya (the broom has scattered into stalks)’. Only one ‘teela’ (stalk) is enough to take care of these Akalis and the Congress.” In veiled reference to sacked predecessor Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Ghuggi said: “Whether shed or plucked, the fallen leaves of a growing tree are not to be bothered about.”
Claiming that deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had prepared 63 fake compact discs against the AAP, Ghuggi said the Badals could stoop to any level to malign their opponents. “In this era of technology, anybody can doctor a video or photograph,” he said.
Delhi legislator Jarnail Singh played Panthic card. “The Badals should be ashamed that after getting votes in the name of Sikh Panth, they failed to give the people of Punjab a better life,” he said.
“If we come to power, we will free farmers of debt to curb suicides.” “Badals say that Punjab Roadways is losing
Rs115 crore a year. Then how is their Orbit bus company doing so well?” he said on the state of public transport.
Khaira said: “Ik the eh media bahut tang karda (the media annoys us a lot).” Changing tone quickly, he said: “Not every media but the PTC owned by the Badals.” He asked the public to boycott the channel and bar the Congress and Akali leaders from their villages.