Poll defeat goes to head of AAP: Four months on, topi disappearing in Punjab

The Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had pitted the turban against the cap to argue that the AAP was a party of outsiders. Though there were communal overtones to such a pitch, the AAP seems to have fallen in line with it now.

punjab Updated: Jul 27, 2017 20:38 IST
Avtar Singh
Avtar Singh
Hindustan Times, Sangrur
AAP,topi,Punjab
As Khaira reached in Mehlan Chowk where Dirba MLA Harpal Singh Cheema organised a meeting between him and party workers, the latter raised slogans such as ‘Sardar Sukhpal Singh Khaira, zindabad’. There were similar scenes in Bhawanigarh and Sunam. The topi was all but missing.(HT Photo)

The disappointing show in the assembly elections seems to have gone to the heads of Aam Aadmi Party leaders and workers — and the topi (cap) appears to be a casualty. During the recent visit of leader of opposition Singh Sukhpal Khaira to in Sangrur, hardly one of the supporters was seen wearing the cap that the AAP had made a symbol of aam aadmi (common man).

As Khaira reached in Mehlan Chowk where Dirba MLA Harpal Singh Cheema organised a meeting between him and party workers, the latter raised slogans such as ‘Sardar Sukhpal Singh Khaira, zindabad’. There were similar scenes in Bhawanigarh and Sunam. The topi was all but missing.

The Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had pitted the turban against the cap to argue that the AAP was a party of outsiders. Though there were communal overtones to such a pitch, the AAP seems to have fallen in line with it now.

“Earlier, it (cap) was necessary; but it’s optional now,” said Param Jaspal Mann, a party worker. “I think it’s a case of ‘jaisa des vaisa bhes’ (Do in Rome as the Romans do)!” She added that the youth clearly had adopted the “Delhi model” during polls, but now are not following it. “We should operate as per our culture, and in Punjab you have to adopt Punjabi culture.”

Even AAP’s Sangrur candidate in the elections, Dinesh Bansal, is not wearing the cap these days. “During election days we had to wear the cap, but now there is no need,” he simply said.

While state unit chief Bhagwant Mann has been saying, and reiterated in Thursday, that the local unit no longer needed observers from Delhi (central leadership), co-president Aman Arora said this about the topi: “It has emerged from a struggle and it is the symbol of agitation against the corrupt system. We are focusing on the party’s functioning and have made several changes. The workers can wear a cap or a turban as per their will.”

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 20:36 IST