Chandigarh, August 27: Ever since the Aam Aadmi Party hit the national political scenario with people in Punjab electing four MPs from this rookie party to the Lok Sabha, the outfit has been subjected to unending “bloodshed” in this state that politically is seismic prone zone from the very beginning. In the latest turmoil, the AAP leadership in Delhi has been using Punjabis against Punjabis to maintain its iron grip. Ironically, the new outfit had hit the national scene challenging the centralized functioning of most of the established political parties.
The exit of Sucha Singh Chhotepur as convener of its Punjab unit is not a sudden development as the first signals to this effect were available about four months back.
After the selective leak of the sting operation in which he has been ‘caught’ accepting money from an aspirant, his replacement was a foregone conclusion. What is important is that it is the two Punjab MPs Bhagwant Mann and Prof Sadhu Singh who were assigned the unpleasant job of making this crucial but unpleasant announcement after the meeting of its political affairs committee in Delhi. Both party’s Punjab incharge Sanjay Singh and organizational secretary Durgesh Pathak performed the disappearance act. AAP has been under attack for bringing in non-Punjabis in the present electoral fight.
Both these MPs were junior in hierarchy to state party convener Chhotepur and hence, his sack should have been announced either by Sanjay Singh or Pathak, if not Arvind Kejriwal himself. This amounts to further degrading the Punjab unit. The AAP leadership is taking advantage of political greed of some Punjabi leaders. Earlier it was Chhotepur who was used as an instrument while throwing out leaders like Dr Daljit Singh. Most of the AAP candidates who lost the Lok Sabha election in Punjab are no more in the party; such has been the systematic purge. At another level, this can be termed as genocide of party activists in Punjab. However, the latest summary execution has come at a very crucial juncture.
Chhotepur himself committed a blunder. He should have reacted when Kejriwal angrily asked him what would have happened in case he had been ex-communicated from the Sikh Panth by the Akal Takht for denigrating the Sikh institutions. He had made this revelation yesterday a few hours before he was to be thrown out like a rotten tomato. Kejriwal’s outburst was in reaction to his defence about the manifesto imbroglio as Chhotepur had publicly stated that he had not been shown the document that carried picture of the Golden Temple along with party symbol broom on the cover.
Last week, AAP rebel MP from Fatehgarh Sahib Harinder Singh Khalsa too had shared interesting information of Kejriwal’s attitude to the Sikh affairs. This was during the first meeting the four MPs and the defeated candidates from Punjab had with Kejriwal and other leaders. The scene was like that of a condolence meeting as all those who were facing them from the top leadership had been defeated.
The first question that was put to them was, “AAP LOG KAISE JEET GAYE (How come that four of you have won?)”. The Punjab team was shocked into silence. Then it was H S Phoolka who gathered some courage to give all credit to Kejriwal for the victory of four candidates saying it was the stand taken by AAP on November 1984 anti-Sikh violence that was the catalyst. According to Khalsa, Kejriwal retorted, “That is why we lost all other seats”.
The two people who have been entrusted with the probe against Chhotepur can be termed as light weights despite the fact that MLA Jarnail Singh has been nominated as associate coordinator in Punjab.
None from top leadership Kejriwal downwards have made any comment on this development in Punjab and it has been left to Punjabis to fight out each other. Punjabis are good mercenaries from the background of being warriors.
From among the leaders in the state, the main responsibility of carrying forward the present momentum falls on the shoulders of one man and that is Bhagwant Mann. Chhotepur today made another disclosure and that was Mann’s worry about the induction of cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu. Presently, it is Himmat Singh Shergill who has been chosen to be Chhotepur’s replacement as the state convener. He himself is an ambitious rookie politician.