Responding to the wake-up call given by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) through a campaign christened as "Listen to Ludhiana", the city residents are volunteering to dispense information over the burning issues concerning the common man by filling up questionnaires carrying a list of problems.
Keeping in view the issues which feature on the top of priority list of the city residents, the AAP will prepare its election manifesto for Ludhiana.
Each feedback form carries a list of 12 problems, including clean drinking water to be made available, fight for drug and liquor-free Punjab, cleaning of Budha Nullah, air pollution and women's security and prevention of eve-teasing by speedy trials and harsh penalties for violators.
Every problem has to be marked from number 1-5 as per priority in ascending order. Also, there is blank space for suggestions and comments of the person filling the form.
The AAP volunteers have set up stalls in various parts of the city, covering areas with different social sections working and living in Sarabha Nagar market, Ghumar Mandi, Clock Tower, Dugri, Baba Deep Singh Chowk to Phullanwal and Janta Nagar.
The AAP is becoming an interesting phenomenon in Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency as a large number of college and university students are approaching the party for active participation in day-to-day activities. "We are also putting up some stalls for people to fill the feedback forms and have contributed to the cause by providing pens, pencils and cardboards to them," shared a group of students from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).
Out of total 5,000 printed forms, more than 1,500 forms have already been filled by people wherein "corruption", "traffic chaos", "security and safety of women", "complaints against police", "education" and "pollution" have emerged as the top-most concerns of the people in suggestion and comment column.
The AAP's Lok Sabha candidate from Ludhiana constituency, Harvinder Singh Phoolka, termed this exercise as an endeavour to "reinstate the democratic fabric wherein it is the government of the people, for the people and by the people".
"This is not traditional politics that is why we do not go by styles and techniques of the politicians, but work as activists who work to serve the public and not for some monetary gains or political posts," Phoolka went on to add.
Interestingly, a group of residents after looking at the forms stated that they were Congress supporters and couldn't fill forms circulated by the AAP, but when asked to give just the opinion without disclosing the name, the residents obliged.
Separate forms for rural areas
Separate forms will soon be printed for the rural assembly segments of Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency as the issues in rural areas are different from that of urban.
The recent confrontation between AAP candidate HS Phoolka and the police commissioner over the suspension of the Sarabha Nagar SHO and beat constable following the firing incident by two groups of Youth Akali Dal clashed in Sarabha Nagar had evoked a mixed response from the city residents. The police commissioner had point-blank refused to entertain Phoolka on the issue and had asked him to mind his business. Thus, the AAP has called for a referendum by taking public opinion on the issue on a form before planning its next action.