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Suspension of Sukhpal Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu may trigger revulsion for Kejriwal in Punjab

Harjap Singh Aujla | November 13, 2018 12:21 PM

CHANDIGARH: Would suspension of Sukhpal Singh Khaira former LoP and Kanwar Sandhu MLA from Kharar would impact Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) in Punjab? There seems an element of revolsion building up against the party high command. It is for time to decide what course the politics in AAP would take in future but there are several pitfalls in the way of AAP while looking at the past journey of the party.

The Punjabi NRIs are an important segment of growth of AAP in Punjab. Allegations are being raised by a group in AAP that during the 2017 election for the Punjab Legislative Assembly, the NRI community of Punjab loaded Delhi Chief Minister and national convener of party Arvind Kejriwal with tons of money to be ultimately given to the Punjab candidates of AAP. Arvind Kejriwal did not pass on entire amount to his Punjab candidates. Accusations may or may not be true but an iota of mistrust within the party has confused the cadres.

In addition Kejriwal is under attack for changing horses mid-stream. Sucha Singh Chhottepur believed to have worked hard for years to build a cadre based AAP from the grass-root level. He was expelled from convenership of Punjab unit on flimsy grounds. Without going into the causes of the defeat, Chhottepur’s young successor Gurpreet Singh Warraich was also got same treatment after the party’s defeat in the Punjab election.

There are many missed opportunities for AAP that could be game chagers for the party. An eloquent public speaker Jagmeet Singh Brar was not admitted into the AAP, he could have been a potential winner. Star election campaigner Navjot Singh Sidhu along with Olympian Pargat Singh could have been game changers to catapult Aam Aadmi Party into power. They were ruthlessly snubbed for reasons best known to Kejriwal. Member of Parliament Dharamvir Gandhi was suspended, people say due to his brilliance and forthright approach. Earlier when Kejriwal removed Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the party, he did not realize that Prashant Bhushan’s father had donated crores of rupees to the AAP, when it was experiencing teething troubles and had no money for day to day working.

Going by the political developments in Punjab, prestnly Punjab’s politics has a huge vaccum. The SAD is totally discredited. The BJP, which has been piggy backing the SAD (B) is also hurting. AAP has a golden opportunity to put up a great fight and snatch away some parliamentary seats from the Congress.    

Just a few days ago two AAP leaders with mass grassroots support Sukhpal Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu were suspended from the party. In addition to enjoying mass scale popularity in Punjab, they are both highly respected abroad also. The Punjabi diaspora loves them. More than 100 of the active members of the AAP abroad have written a blunt letter to Kejriwal objecting to his autocratic ways and action against these two stalwarts.

There is a wave of restlessness in the AAP cadres in Punjab itself. Many leaders of their district units are revolting. A tidal wave of resentment has not developed yet. But it has the potential. Recently Kejriwal unfairly blamed the Punjab farmers for rampant burning of rice stubble and pollution in NCR. Simultaneously he spared Haryana of the same blame. This appears to be a blatent attempt to unduly appease the Haryana farmers.

Haryana assembly is soon going into the assembly poll mode. This kind of opportunism on the part of Kejriwal is annoying the Punjab AAP and its supporters abroad. It is apparent that for Kejriwal, his state of birth is more important than his erstwhile citadel Punjab. He is forgetting that when entire India rejected AAP, Punjab embraced it and elected four of his candidates to the Lok Sabha.

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