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Many bushfires erupt in AAP after Chhotepur sacking

punjab Updated: Sep 02, 2016 10:27 IST
HT Correspondent

AAP protesting against Arvind Kejriwal in Nawanshahr on Thursday.(HT Photo)

Discord in the AAP in Punjab gained traction after the party declared two lists of candidates. And it came to a boil after Sucha Singh Chhotepur was removed as state convener. Here’s a round-up of incidents that stand testimony to that.

Read: AAP workers have strong objections on 1 or 2 names: Chhotepur


Rebel AAP workers led by former local party leader Ashwani Joshi protested against party convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal by burning his effigy and the party’s caps on Chandigarh Road on Thursday. Joshi, who claims to have been shortlisted for the Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha seat in 2014, said Kejriwal is a dictator and has “forgotten promises”. He accused AAP’s Delhi leaders of insulting Punjabis by acting against MPs Dharamvira Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa, and Chhotepur.


AAP protest against Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak in Patiala on Thursday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

Volunteers protested at the AAP zonal office, demanding that Chhotepur be made Punjab convener again. They also hurled stones at the closed office and alleged the party has sold tickets. They demanded change of candidate at Ghanaur and Nabha. They were led by Amarinder Singh Tur, Gian Singh Mungo and Narinder Singh Kaleke.

Read: Will not return to party that has people who ‘conspired’ against me: Chhotepur


The police in Pathankot booked over a dozen AAP workers owing allegiance to Kejriwal, on Thursday, for a clash with others owing allegiance to Chhotepur. Those booked included a party leader, Amarjit Singh, who arranged a rally on Wednesday in Bhoa constituency, where the group inclined to Chhotepur was allegedly denied entry.


The differences within the AAP are out in the open in Amritsar now with allegations and counter-allegations hitting the headlines daily. The rift showed when some volunteers opposing the Delhi team and asking them to go back from Punjab thrashed senior AAP worker Anil Mahajan, who was raising slogans in favour of Kejriwal. This incident on Tuesday vertically divided the party here, with Amritsar zone in-charge Gurinder Singh Bajwa opposing the Delhi team; and national council member Ashok Talwar and other members of the local unit backing Kejriwal.


People burning effigy of AAP MP Bhagwant Mann in Muktsar on Thursday. (HT Photo)

The rift in AAP has reached the lowest level of party workers here. Angered over Chhotepur’s removal, a volunteer here closed the party’s zonal office being run from his building in Bathinda. This man, Surjit Singh, who had contested the 2007 assembly polls as BSP candidate from Talwandi Sabo, had dedicated his building as party office. The rift has emboldened those not happy with the ticket allotment; which was evident from a protest by workers against the women’s wing president Baljinder Kaur who is the candidate from Talwandi Sabo, on Wednesday. There were reports of a party section being unhappy, but nobody had come forward until the Chhotepur sacking emboldened the disgruntled elements. Ironically, the protesting group was considered opposed to Chhotepur as Baljinder was considered close to Chhotepur not very long ago.

Read: Reinstate Chhotepur by Sept 1 or face protest, say supporters