With Awaaz-e-Punjab founder and former BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu accusing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of “behaving like the East India Company”, suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Dharamvira Gandhi on Friday said the way AAP national convener and his associates are working, it would indeed not be wrong to compare them with the East India Company.
“In the light of AAP national convener Kejriwal’s perspective towards Punjab and other states, and the way political rights of the states are being violated, I don’t think it’s wrong to compare his functioning with the East India Company,” Gandhi told ANI.
“By bringing 50 people in Punjab, they are trying to run the states’ politics from Delhi. Besides, they have destroyed the honour of Punjab and sidelined the local leadership by defaming them to establish their control over the state’s politics to run the affairs from Delhi. I have been against this design for more than one and a half years. My colleagues and I have been saying this time and again, and now Sidhu is also saying that. I entirely agree with Sidhu sahab,” he added.
He further said “Punjab belongs to the Punjabis, who will run the affairs of the state. “People from outside can help us and share their knowledge with us, but I condemn them for working to establish their control over Punjab,” said Gandhi.
When asked would he like to join the new front opened by Sidhu, he said, “Punjab is surrounded by so many problems today, like agriculture, unemployment, addiction environment, industry etc, and its position among the states of India has been falling constantly. And, if any party or a person, who talks about the wellbeing of Punjab, we welcome them. We will have to see what is their perspective of the state and how will they solve the state’s problem. If that party is addressing the problems of Punjab correctly, we will definitely seek help from them and also extend our help to them.”
Sidhu on Thursday formally launched a new political front ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’, which will contest the Punjab assembly elections next year.
Addressing a press conference on the occasion, he said, “Awaaz e Punjab is a revolutionary voice in the state. It is the resurrection and redemption of Punjab, which is in a dire strait.”
Stating that at this stage Awaaz-e-Punjab is not a party, it’s a forum, Sidhu added, “We will take 15 days, and then get back to you with our decision and more details.”
Taking a dig at the BJP- SAD government in Punjab, he said, “A government should be for the people, but in Punjab it is all about one family (the Badals). The people of the state say the ‘black clouds’ (Badals) should pave way to the bright sun.”
Explaining the reason behind his resignation to the Rajya Sabha, Sidhu said it had nothing to do with Kejriwal. “When I went to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari sahib, he was shocked by my decision to resign, and told me that he never saw anyone doing this,” he added.
He further said, “Kejriwalji tweeted about the meeting with me, but he said half truth. Let me complete it: Kejriwalji told me ‘don’t fight elections and ask your wife to contest, we will make her a minister’. I said ‘Sat Shri Akal’; you (Kejriwal) only want ‘Yes Men’.”
Sidhu also hit out at the AAP national convener, saying “he was behaving like the East India Company which had come with 40,000 troops but had ruled over 40 crore Indians by dividing them”.