Punjab polls: SSM poaching AAP workers at BJP’s behest, alleges Meet Hayer

Hayer was accompanied by AAP state joint secretary Jaspreet Singha and others, who were allegedly approached by Rajewal group
AAP MLA and Punjab youth wing president Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer was addressing media persons in Amritsar. (HT File Photo)
AAP MLA and Punjab youth wing president Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer was addressing media persons in Amritsar. (HT File Photo)
Published on Jan 14, 2022 09:07 PM IST
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By, Amritsar

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and Punjab youth wing president Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer on Friday alleged that farm union leader Balbir Singh Rajewal’s Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM) has been trying to poach their workers at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government.

However, the SSM — a political front formed by various Punjab farmer bodies that had taken part in the stir against the Centre’s now-repealed agricultural laws — has denied the allegation.

Addressing a press conference in Amritsar, Hayer said: “The BJP has been considering AAP convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as the main opposition leader in the country. The BJP has put forth its all efforts to stop the AAP in Punjab. It is the saffron party’s policy not to make direct alliance, but divide votes of opposition parties by making indirect alliances.

Hayer said even ahead of the Punjab polls, the BJP has made “indirect alliances” besides direct ones (such as the one with Capt Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress)

“Today those who are in indirect alliance with the BJP are approaching our honest and old workers to leave the AAP. Our workers are being offered money and tickets for fighting the assembly elections by the SSM,” he alleged.

Hayer was accompanied by AAP state joint secretary Jaspreet Singha and others, who were allegedly approached by the Rajewal group.

“We respected Rajewal due to his contribution in the farmers’ agitation against the three farm laws. But, now the SSM has started luring AAP volunteers. The SSM has been offering money and other support to leave the AAP and fight the election on SSM tickets. I was offered Amritsar South’s ticket,” alleged Jaspreet Singh.

Hayer said the SSM should make it clear that who was providing the money being offered to AAP workers. “These conspiracies are being hatched to divide the votes of AAP, for all people in Punjab know that the SSM can’t win a single seat in the state,” he said.

Allegations ‘100% wrong’: SSM

Reacting to the allegations, SSM screening committee member Kulwant Kanti termed them “100% wrong”. He said the SSM has no money and was strongly against those who spend money to buy support during elections.

“We are fielding candidates with honest background. Our first condition is that our candidate must be the one who or his/her family members participated in the farmers’ agitation. We are against all political parties that are pro corporates. Our candidates will fight the elections with the money donated by people in the villages,” said Kanti.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022