The blue-card holders of Model Town raised slogans against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Bhagwant Mann during a protest on the Kotkapura road here on Thursday.
With a view to projecting that it was the spontaneous ire of blue-card holders (beneficiaries of the atta-dal scheme), the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) organised a protest against Mann, burning his effigy, against his controversial remarks on card holders.
The protesters said that Mann had insulted the blue-card holders by ‘comparing’ them to ‘beggars’ and he should apologise to them. The protesters said that they would not let AAP leaders into Model Town.
Though the protest was projected as if it was a sudden reaction from the blue-card holders, the SAD’s hand in organising the protest was evident from the fact that the office of SAD leader Kanwarjeet Singh ‘Rozy Barkandi’ sent out an e-mail about the agitation.
“Though there were two-three Akali workers at the protest, it was a spontaneous demonstration by the blue-card holders. Protesters requested us to communicate with the media, so we did it,” said Ravi Kumar who sent the e-mail on behalf of Barkandi ‘s office. Barkandi could not be contacted despite several attempts.
Interacting with the media at the event where members of the family of late Akali stalwart Gurcharan Singh Tohra, incluidng his son-in-law Harmail Singh Tohra, daughter Kuldeep Kaur Tohra, and grandson Harinder Pal Singh Tohra, joined the AAP in Chandigarh on Tuesday, Mann had indirectly compared blue-card holders to “beggars”. Both the SAD and the Congress criticised him for this.