Last-minute changes in Arvind Kejriwal’s Friday schedule led to chaos at Jhande village where he was put up at a farmhouse. Kejriwal had announced ‘khulla darbaar’ (open public meeting) for volunteers. The party had posted invites on social media for the event to be held around 10am. But at 8 am the AAP chief left for the Golden Temple. The meeting could begin only around 4 pm.
After a long wait, some volunteers from Bathinda, Mansa and other districts returned. As resentment started building up among the remaining volunteers, security was asked to send a few of them inside where they met state co-observer Jarnail Singh.
Kejriwal returned to the farmhouse later and met volunteers, and representatives of the Kabiley community who demanded inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes category.
Stung by recent sting video and audio clips against AAP leaders, the party asked volunteers to leave behind their gadgets while meeting the party top leaders. “Any object in which camera could be hidden were not allowed inside. So we ensured that each volunteer going inside did not have phones, pens, watches etc,” said a party worker.
Further, while those volunteers who had a letter from their district leaders recommending them were allowed to meet the chief. “We do not have any chit from any leader or observer. We are waiting for him since morning and we did not even get any information that the meeting has been postponed. If this is not VIP culture then what is ?,” said a group of volunteers from Amargarh.
“We were allowed to meet Jarnail Singh. We told him we want a local candidate, not an outsider,” said a group of 11 circle incharges from Bhaduar . Some volunteers also had arguments with Kejriwal’s security team, who allegedly told them he was unwell after an accident and would not be meeting them.
“We don’t know where this is coming from,” said Manpreet Randhawa, media coordinator. “Yes, meeting was postponed as Kejriwal went to Golden Temple. He came to Ludhiana by 3.30 pm and all those volunteers who had arrived were not denied meeting him.”