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Economist Dr Sardara Singh Johl snubs AAP offer

Johl claimed that their discussions were all related to food and farmers’ crisis going on in Punjab.

Written by Divya Goyal | Chandigarh | Updated: September 10, 2016 10:37 am
Sardara Singh Johl, Sardara Singh Johl Arvind Kejriwal, Arvind Kejriwal, Arvind Kejriwal punjab visit, Kejrwal visit, punjab elections, Punjab polls, Chandigarh news, India news Kejriwal and other AAP leaders with Dr S S Johl at his residence in Gurdev Nagar, Ludhiana, Friday. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

The AAP on Friday invited internationally acclaimed agricultural economist Dr Sardara Singh Johl, also chancellor of Central University in Bathinda, to the party. However, they had to return empty-handed after Johl said “there was no question of me joining AAP.”

The AAP team led by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal included Bhagwant Mann, HS Phoolka, Sanjay Singh, Gurpreet Ghuggi, among others reached Johl’s residence in Gurdev Nagar at around 6.30 pm.

Johl, speaking to The Indian Express after the meeting, said, “He (Kejriwal) expressed his wish to meet me and asked for an appointment. I welcome everyone at my place, be it Kejriwal or anyone. I told him I belong to no party and there is no question of joining AAP.”

Asked if he was offered CM post by AAP, Johl, “They may want it but I am a chancellor of a university right now and a professional. I can’t say if they offered it to me or not but in any case I am not accepting it. They might have come to have some political talks with me but I told Kejriwal in the first line that I won’t like to discuss it. He is my guest like a common man, not a politician.”

Sources privy to the proccedings during the meeting told The Indian Express that AAP tried to convince Johl to join their party as ‘they need an intellectual who can help them in building new Punjab’ but Johl politely declined the offer. He said he ‘did not want to be tagged or associated with any political party and is happy being an educationist’.

However, Johl claimed, “Our discussions were all related to food and farmers’ crisis going on in Punjab. They wanted my inputs on agrarian crisis.”

When pointed out he is known to be a Congress loyalist, Johl said, “Its not true. Check my Facebook, I keep writing against every party.”

Padma Bhushan awardee Dr SS Johl had earlier served as vice-chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana and Punjabi University, Patiala. He also served as consultant to Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, World Bank and Economic Commission for West Asia in many countries. Actively involved with the government of India in policy making on food and agrarian crisis, Johl has also served as the president, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, among others.

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  1. A
    amitava ghosh
    Sep 10, 2016 at 6:51 am
    A person of intellectuality will never join any party whose sole motto is to fool the common man and indulge in scams of all sorts.
    1. G
      Gursharan Singh
      Sep 13, 2016 at 7:06 am
      Ms Divya, this kind of reporting is not at all expected from a journalist like you and newspaper of national level. Reporting is more of fallacious in nature than anything truthful in it. Please rise above the Political inclinations. Regards, Toor GS
      1. A
        Sep 10, 2016 at 1:14 am
        There is lot of guess work by the media including the Indian Express. I am inclined to what Mr. Johl described that took place in the meeting.. In any case, Mr.Kejriwal has to be trying search for the right man till he finds one; and he will find one.
        1. V
          Sep 12, 2016 at 9:48 pm
          This news that Dr Johl snubbed AAP is a white lie. Dr Johl has denied it. Will the correspondent, Divya Goyal, clarify?