On the road to the Lok Sabha, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal is trying to take every common man along.
En route Tarn Taran in his open jeep on Friday during the parliamentary election campaign in Punjab, he stopped at many places on the 40-km drive to chat with rural folk and made vote appeal. During the Tarn Taran road show, many wanted a glimpse of him.
The AAP candidate from Khadoor Sahib, Bhai Baldeep Singh, was with him. On his way back to Amritsar, Kejriwal met farmers of the Pannu group of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, who were on a dharna on the roadside at Golwar. They seek the release of their leader Satnam Singh Pannu and two more people who are detained since a February protest against erratic power supply.
Pained that the group had decided to boycott the elections, Kejriwal told them the negative stand would serve no purpose and they should follow the common man contesting the election to cleanse the political system.
"Punjab, once the leading state of the country, has been ruined by both the Congress and the Akali-BJP combine. You must come forward to save it," he told the protesting group, including women.
When farmers told his about the extent of drug addiction, Kejriwal told them he was aware. "Drugs cannot be smuggled without the connivance of political leaders. Vote for the AAP if you want to eradicate this menace," he told the farmers.
He returned covering parts of the Amritsar South assembly segment; and before he departed for Batala, he stopped at Verka, Kathunangal, Jaintipur, and a few other places.
Blames Akalis for drug menace
At Batala, Kejriwal accused the Akalis of being hand-in-glove with drug trader in the state. He even went to the extent of naming a minister from one of the border districts as complicit. "I was surprised to know of the price of sand in Punjab. The Akalis are becoming crorepati selling sand. This is astonishing," he told the media in the industrial township.