It was a “Herculean task” for the AAP to find a piece of land in Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s bastion, in Kolianwali village of Lambi Assembly segment, where AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would address a rally on Wednesday. At the rally, Kejriwal is set to announce Jarnail Singh, its MLA from Rajouri Garden in Delhi, as the party candidate against the chief minister.
Party state affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh told mediapersons on Tuesday that they were facing a mammoth challenge to organise the rally as they were not allowed the grain market ground, a permit for which was sought by them from the village sarpanch. He said they extended the Kabaddi tournament by one more day so as not to allow AAP to hold its rally.
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Narinder Sandhu alias Naughty, an ex-sarpanch of Kolianwali village and vice-president of Punjab AAP, said they were able to get three acres of land from an AAP volunteer Mehal Singh, whose standing wheat crop was to be ploughed. “We will pay him for the crop. Though he was not accepting money, we would not let him suffer the loss,” said Sandhu.
He said that for the past several days, they had a difficult time. “The panchayat did not allow us the land saying there was a sports tournament. Later, when we hired land from private parties, they backtracked. Only today, our volunteer came up with the offer. We do not need their permit now. We need a permit to put up the loudspeaker. We had procured that. The tents are up and the ground all prepared for the big show tomorrow,” said Sandhu.
Kolianwali, whose wife is village Sarpanch, said nobody sought any permission from them. “We did not receive any application. They talk baseless).”
He said the kabaddi tournament was extended as the village youth called more teams from across the state. “We got so much of response for the teams that we were forced to extend it. We also did not use any coercion to stop anyone from giving them land. People are not with them. They are with the Chief Minister who have catapulted the state and done so much of development. They have put up the tents outside the house of a volunteer, who is only one from the village to be with them. It is actually Sham Khera village and not even my village.”