Only issue in Punjab is not  that of putting Badals behind bars

gandhi and sucha

Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, September 10: In the competitive politics, both Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh and Aam Aadmi Party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are focusing on putting Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in jail as if that is the only medicine to cure this chronically sick state. The suicides by the farmers and farm workers are just one indication of the deepening  rot of the systemic catastrophe.

Capt Amarinder Singh is the person who has the bitter experience of sending father and son to jail when he took over as the chief minister in 2002. Of course, people like this rhetoric and it is part of populism. Kejriwal is thundering that  he would camp in Punjab till Badals are sent to jails. For that, his battered and badly bruised party has to win election and he has to take over as the chief minister.

Such a serious crisis needs earnest approach and not rhetoric like sending any leader to jail. The crisis has been building up over the years. The crisis would have to be seen in the context of operation market forces dictated by liberalization.

AAP is coming out with its manifesto for farmers tomorrow. The party had created much hype about its youth manifesto but none even remembers what the party had promised in that document. This now would be the second installment with farmers under focus. There are no simple solutions.

While both Amarinder and Kejriwal are indulging in rhetoric, AAP Punjab is emerging as the nucleus of all those who have been part of the Aam Aadmi Party when it had come up as the party of hope in Punjab. This state has the distinction of sending four AAP members to the Lok Sabha. However, all those who had worked during the initial period to build up the party are not its part anymore. They were thrown out one by one. Even two of its MPs including Dr Dharam Vira Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa are under suspension and that too for months. Kejriwal can’t dare to throw them out as that would give them all the freedom that they need to function independently. Now they can’t violate the party whip in the Lok Sabha.

Chhotepur has already called on Dr  Gandhi and his response is learnt to be positive. It may be mentioned that earlier, Dr Gandhi had floated forum to rope in all right-thinking people.

Chhotepur taking over the parallel AAP Punjab is just a formality as he has already gauged the mood of the people. AAP stands shattered due to various allegations. The so called corruption scam involving Rs 2 lakh under which Chhotepur has faced extreme action is nothing in comparison. Moreover, Chhotepur has admitted to accepting contributions to run the party affairs and financing the party in Delhi too for which he was never asked any questions.

Time is too short with Assembly election due in February next. Contesting elections requires organizational structure upto booth level. The Awaz-e-Punjab conglomerate that includes Navjot Singh Sidhu, Pargat Singh, Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains would also face this problem in case the formal launching of the political outfit is delayed. Navjot has announced that it might take about 20 days to assess the mood of the people. His problem, however, is that of trust deficit at one level as he and his MLA wife Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu are committed to  the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. Navjot would have to clarify his position on this sensitive issue.

Chhotepur’s advantage is that AAP in the state has got vertically divided and thus he does not face the problem of organizational support base. Moreover, he has some committed people on his side who are not otherwise ambitious. They know how to fight.


Jagtar Singh


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