Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) went all out in general elections in 2014 and contested as many as 432 out of 545 seat – highest by any political party. In stark contrast to party claims, its performance was very dismal and of all the candidates only 18 could hold on their security deposit. Punjab was the only saving grace, which gave the party four seats to parliament. Ever since then AAP has been dreaming about ruling the state, which goes to polls early next year.
AAP is now leaving no stone unturned to make a lasting impression in its maiden assembly elections in Punjab but internal rift and differences with top brass has reduced the party into splinters groups all going astray. The fact that out of four, three MPs have raised their voice against party chief Arvind Kejriwal, gives a clear signal that the party in staring at a major split ahead of polls.
Interestingly, fourth MP Bhagwant Mann who is a close confidante of AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal has been suspended from parliament for posting a video exposing the security details of parliament. While Mann has been barred from attending the parliamentary proceeding the differences of other MPs with AAP chief refuse to die down.
Attacking the party, suspended MP from Fatehgarh Sahib, Harinder Singh Khalsa has stated that the mere arrival of the party in the border state has started pushing it to ‘dark ages’. Addressing a rally at Ludhiana Khalsa questioned, “Why no sacrilege incidents had happened in the state and why incidents like Malrekotla were happening now?”
Khalsa also questioned the state leadership of AAP in Punjab by stating that political goons from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are going all out to ensure win in the assembly elections. He further stated that these goons have the habit of unleashing violence and creating unrest for political gains and they are now employing the same modus operandi in Punjab.
Kejriwal had always drawn flak from within the party for his dictatorship style of functioning but now these are some serious questioning on party’s moral and ethical ground. It is noteworthy that party MP from Patiala Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi had earlier stated that “AAP is Kejriwal and Kejriwal is AAP”.
In historical context Punjabis have always been peace-loving people but they can never tolerate any dent to state’s socio-religious fabric. Punjab had to pay a huge price for fighting with terrorism and cannot afford any kind if unrest in state. AAP was built on the support of countless volunteers who tirelessly worked for the party in desperate hope for an alternative politics. AAP top brass should always remember that!