Lashing out at Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, the two suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MPs -- Dr Dharamvira Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa -- dared him to act against them and said Kejriwal in bid to grab power had shattered the dreams of AAP volunteers in Punjab.
Responding to Kerjiwal’s interview in HT in which he had asked the Punjab MPs to apologise, Dr Gandhi and Khalsa, in a counter attack, said, rather, it’s Kejriwal who should apologise to the AAP volunteers and people of Punjab for suppressing their voice by creating high command culture in the party that was floated for “Swaraj”. “Why should we apologise? We have done no wrong,” they said.
Meanwhile, Khalsa said the AAP national convener had “gone mad and was behaving foolishly”. “Kejriwal has gone mad. It’s like ‘ulta chor kotwal to dante’(a guilty person accusing the innocent). Kejriwal is challenging the “ankh” (pride) of Punjabis,” he said.
“Kejriwal has already been exposed before us (the rebel AAP leaders) and the Delhities for his poor performance and suppressing the basic ideology of the party. In the near future, he will be fully exposed before the Punjabis, who won’t tolerate a person who behaves like a dictator and challenge leaders whom the volunteers and people have elected as their representatives. Kejriwal can’t succeed in Punjab, as Punjabis can’t be led by paratroopers and bhaiyaas,” said Khalsa, while referring to Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak.
He added that the real volunteers were feeling suffocated and thus some of them trying to make a new party. He said by giving statement related to him and Dr Gandhi, Kejriwal and his team were playing to the gallery. “Kejriwal should reply to the showcause notice which I have sent to him,” dared Khalsa.
Echoing similar views, Dr Gandhi said instead of asking apology from me, Kejriwal need to answer the volunteers of the party and the people of Punjab and India as a whole, whether he was still holding on to the principles of transparency, accountability, Swaraj, inner party democracy and respect for volunteers.
“If my raising of issues related to these principles and upholding the respect of volunteers and their confidence in party ideals are crime in the eyes and mind Kejriwal, he should reconsider the politically suicidal path he has chosen to undertake,” said Dr Gandhi.
He said he had already replied to the suspension notice served on him and the ‘Delhi high command’ was sitting over it without taking a decision on it for over six months. “I dare Kejriwal to take a decision on merits,” dared Dr Gandhi.
He said in the last 22 months since the Lok Sabha elections where people of Punjab voted and elected four AAP MPs, the ‘Delhi high command’ created confusion and division in the ranks of the party volunteers, deliberately putting the political and economic issues of Punjab on the back-burner and adopting arbitrary approach in appointments.
“Every attempt of the volunteers to strengthen the party from below has been scuttled by invoking harsh actions on Punjab leaders, trampling the spirit of federalism leading to strengthening of the stranglehold on party organisation through Delhi appointees,” he said
“Importing new faces into the party with controversial backgrounds at the cost of dedicated and hardworking volunteers has only unmasked the real face of Kejriwal,” said Dr Gandhi, alleging Kejriwal for the turmoil in Punjab AAP unit.