The Delhi Chief Minister and national convenor of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Arvind Kejriwal, who came to meet the Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar over the issue of smog in Delhi, told party leaders here that the civic polls in the state must be fought by AAP under the party symbol.
Kejriwal could not spare time for a formal meeting with the MLAs and senior leaders of his party but met them at the VIP lounge of the International Airport in Mohali before leaving for New Delhi. A meeting with party functionaries had been scheduled to be held at the UT guest house after the Delhi Chief Minister finished his meeting with the Haryana CM, but due to paucity of time, Kejriwal headed straight to the airport. However, he held a nearly hour-long meeting at the lounge with the AAP leaders who had come to see him off.
Among AAP leaders who were present at the airport meeting were state president Bhagwant Mann, co-president Aman Arora, Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira, Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, Talwandi Sabo MLA Baljinder Kaur, Maur MLA Jagdev Singh Kamalu, Bathinda Rural MLA Rupinder Kaur Ruby and Nihal Singh Wala MLA Manjit Singh Bilaspur.
Arvind Kejriwal told party leaders that all big and small elections in the state must be contested, and this includes the forthcoming municipal corporation polls slated to be held in the month of December. “He said that the names of the candidates to contest the polls should be finalised at local level and that the state unit had a free hand in doing so,” said an MLA present at the meeting said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, state co-president Aman Arora said a meeting has been called by the party on November 17 in Ludhiana where the discussion on the local bodies elections will be held. “The meeting will be attended by state president Bhagwant Mann, Sukhpal Khaira, and other senior office bearers of the party,” he said.
MLA Manjit Singh Bilaspur said that Kejriwal discussed the paddy stubble burning issue with the AAP leaders and told them about the hardships being faced by the residents of Delhi due to it. “Kejriwal that a solution to the problem could be found only by the joint efforts of the state governments of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab,” Manjit Singh said.
Another MLA, Jagdev Singh Kamalu said that the Kejriwal also said that he had been repeatedly trying to fix a meeting with the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, over the issue of smog but had failed to get any time from him. “The MLAs also apprised him about the failure of the state government to implement the recommendations of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in helping farmers find a viable alternative to dispose off the paddy stubble,” added Manjit Singh.