Chandigarh: Nearly a dozen supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were injured on Sunday, as they were cane-charged and teargassed by Chandigarh Police while they were protesting against the pesticides scam here.
Police also used water cannons to disperse the AAP workers when they tried to proceed towards the official residence of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here. Earlier, the AAP protestors were stopped near Sector 57, close to Chandigarh’s boundary with the Mohali town in Punjab.
The protesters were demanding a time-bound judicial probe into the pesticides scam in Punjab due to which cotton growers in the state suffered losses running into hundreds of crores of rupees, AAP youth wing president Harjot Singh Bains said.
Chicago-Based medical specialist Dr Munish Raizada has come up with his debut political documentary series titled “Transparency: Pardarshita”.
It is a Hindi language documentary series spanning six episodes. The series deals with the India Against Corruption Movement (Anna Andolan) of 2010, led by social activist Anna Hazare, and it also traces how movement subsequently led to political developments that gave birth to the Aam Aadmi Party.
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The series, directed and produced by Raizada offers an in-depth analysis of the functioning of the party based on reactions from several members of the party, along with political analysts and journalists who followed the developments closely.
Though the damage done by the party to itself in the last three years will be known after the forthcoming parliamentary elections, it will be a sad day for people in Punjab who saw AAP as a third viable option but were let down by the party itself
The recent exit of politically outspoken leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fold in Punjab, at a time when general elections are around the corner, has raised a question mark over the party’s political future in the state.
It is not that Khaira, who was elected on the AAP ticket in the February 2017 assembly polls, was indispensable for the party in Punjab.
His exit, however, has shown that the AAP central leadership in Delhi continues to be unaffected by the self-created crisis in the Punjab unit that began in August 2016.
Khaira, who was suspended from the AAP along with another legislator, Kanwar Sandhu, in November 2018 for “anti-party activities”, last week floated a new party – Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) – and has given enough indications of splitting the AAP down the middle.
Six AAP legislators in the state were present at the launch of the new party even though they did not share the stage with Khaira.
The AAP’s Punjab unit is in complete disarray – be it the leadership crisis, lack of political direction or agenda or the complete disillusionment of its cadre.
It’s not the first time that the AAP central leadership has committed political harakiri with the Punjab unit. It has become clear now that the AAP central leadership, instead of letting the Punjab unit take on the ruling Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance, ends up shooting itself in the foot every time.
Khaira was earlier unceremoniously removed as Leader of Opposition (LoP) by the AAP central leadership in July 2018. He openly rebelled against the party high command by dissolving the the AAP’s Punjab organisational structure and seeking complete autonomy for the state unit.
The AAP ousted its then Punjab unit chief, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, on flimsy bribery charges in August 2016, just months ahead of the assembly polls.
Chhotepur, who nurtured the party right from the day of its conception in Punjab, was shown the door after the emergence of a video clip in which an AAP worker was shown giving money to him. Even before this, Chhotepur was being sidelined in Punjab affairs with Delhi leaders like Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak calling all the shots.
As the Chhotepur episode unfolded, AAP leaders at the constituency and district level rebelled. Chhotepur, who accused the AAP central leadership of corruption in allotting tickets for various assembly seats, finally exited the party and formed a new political outfit – the Apna Punjab Party (APP) that has practically remained a non-starter.
The AAP appointed actor-comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi, with no political experience, as its state convener in place of Chhotepur. Ghuggi left the party on a sour note just months later.
Two AAP MPs from Punjab, Dharamvira Gandhi and Harinder Khalsa, were suspended in August 2015 for questioning the AAP’s leadership style.
Gandhi, a cardiologist and known social worker, is the MP from Patiala constituency, while Khalsa, a former diplomat, represents Fatehgarh Sahib in the Lok Sabha. Gandhi was also unceremoniously removed from the post of leader of AAP in the Lok Sabha.
The AAP, which was completely rejected elsewhere in the country in the April-May 2014 general elections, won four Lok Sabha seats from Punjab – Sangrur, Patiala, Faridkot and Fatehgarh Sahib.
The AAP started the year 2016 on an upswing. Poll surveys and the party’s own political calculations gave it anything from 75 to over 100 seats in the 117-member assembly.
The party, however, finished second and managed to end up as the main opposition party with 20 legislators. One legislator, lawyer-activist H.S. Phoolka, resigned from the assembly seat recently and even quit the AAP.
With Khaira’s exit, his status as a legislator and the future of the six legislators who seem to be in his camp, will be seen in the coming months.
The party, which is the newest entrant on Punjab political scene – dominated largely by the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress over the decades – is facing as much a challenge from its implosion.
Though the damage done by the party to itself in the last three years will be known after the forthcoming parliamentary elections, it will be a sad day for people in Punjab who saw AAP as a third viable option but were let down by the party itself. (IANS)
An audio is in circulation since 2-3 days in the official WhatsApp groups of Aam Aadmi party that exposes the murky politics into which Aam Aadmi Party has got indulged into.
The recently concluded MCD Elections 2017 has marked the sixth back to back defeat of AAP after its thumping 67 seats mandate in Delhi. Although the prime official reason for AAP defeats is said to be the intentional manipulation of the EVMs (Electronic voting machines) but the real reasons somewhere go down internal unchecked corruption within the AAP, that has also led to disengagement of the ground volunteers of the party.
The audio clip in circulation is the conversation between the Ward Secretary of Sangam Vihar assembly and a ground volunteer of the party.
The conversation reveals that AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya was quite upset with AAP leaders as they did not give the ticket for just concluded MCD polls to the person whom he had suggested but decided on their own.
NewsGram confirmed with Tarun regarding the audio clip and he clearly states that the MLA has asked the ground volunteers not to cooperate with the candidate Pankaj Gupta so that he loses the election. The audio also exposes how AAP MLAs have not been working in their constituencies and Delhi residents were unhappy with Delhi Government’s functioning.
The audio also reveals another alarming fact!
The whole party is now a puppet in the hands of 4-5 people introducing the ‘High Command’ culture in the party and MCD tickets were sold by some AAP leaders.
The name that surfaces in the alleged ticket selling that surfaces here in the conversation is of Sanjay Singh, who has sold the tickets for MCD elections.
Tarun, the ward secretary says in the audio, “If you want a ticket from the party, simply pay Rs.25 lacs. Gone are the golden democratic days of the party when tickets were awarded to the most deserving candidate of the party through internalised voting system.” He further says, had he knew that by paying Rs 25 lacs he could have got the ticket, he wouldn’t have spent money working on the ground for AAP but would have directly paid to the leaders”.
The AAP functionary continues and says that he is highly disappointed with the party. The party came into the politics with the passion to change the prevailing corrupt political system in the country. But lately, the party has changed itself in a negative manner and now all its passion is directed towards playing the routine corrupt politics.
The talk also verifies another allegation of volunteers, namely para-dropped fielded by AAP leadership for MCD polls.
Rajesh (as named in the clip) from Wazirpur (North) area was given ticket by AAP leadership when he was not even supported by a majority of AAP volunteers of that area. Also, a new face, Neelam Agarwal from Tughlakabad Extension was given ticket whom no volunteer had ever seen working for the party.
Towards the end of the audio, it was also known that many ground level workers have decided not support the questionable candidates fielded by AAP leadership.