AAM AADMI Party (AAP) national convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was the ‘centre of attention’ in Punjab Tuesday as the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) organised protest rallies against him in district headquarters.
In the run-up to assembly polls in Punjab in 2017, both SAD and Congress have been dismissive of the notion that AAP could be a formidable player. Interestingly, however, more than targeting each other, both have been focusing on slamming Kejriwal governance in Delhi.
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The Akali leadership Tuesday turned up at district headquarters to “lodge their protest” against what they called Kejriwal’s “double-speak” and “anti-Punjab stand by AAP government in Delhi” in the Supreme Court on SYL canal issue and its efforts to demolish the historical Piau Sahib at Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib Delhi by using judicial process.”
In Ludhiana, two rallies were organised by the urban and rural units of the party. SOI, its student wing, performed symbolic ‘brain surgery’ on an effigy of the AAP convenor. In Amritsar, Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia led the charge.
While Akali leaders claimed that people came in “huge numbers” to lodge their protest against AAP and Kejriwal, AAP dismissed the rallies.
“Reports from all districts show that only a few Akali workers gathered in the dharna,” said AAP leaders, in a statement.
“Dharnas in protest against the ‘hollow’ allegations of Delhi government’s role in the demolition of ‘Piau’ at Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib turned out to be a ‘flop show’’,” it said.
In Ludhiana, one protest was organised by SAD’s Ludhiana- 1 chief Madan Lal Bagga at Clock tower and another was organised by Ludhiana 2 chief Harbhajan Singh Dang.
It caused traffic jam for nearly three hours at Clock Tower as well as near mini-secretariat.
In the protest rally at Jalandhar, which lasted for nearly two hours, there was thin presence of workers. The party leaders, who had come to participate in the protest parked their luxury vehicles in the middle of road, causing inconvenience to the commuters, including those going to hospitals. The traffic police on duty at the spot also did not take any steps to regulate the traffic.
Pargat ‘skips’ protests
SAD MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment and former Indian hockey skipper, Pargat Singh, was conspicuous by his absence, leading to murmurs among political observers. When asked, Pargat cited other preoccupations as the reason behind his absence.
(WITH INPUTS FROM ENS CHANDIGARH)