Will placate good people if they’re annoyed, says AAP Punjab convener Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi

Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi, AAP Punjab convener speaks with The Indian Express on his challenges and other issues.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Published:September 6, 2016 4:09 am
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What are the challenges you face after taking over as convener?

I placate good people if they are annoyed with the party. Humility is my forte. I will hit the ground running.

Does ousted convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur qualify to be a ‘good person’ by your definition?

It is subject to inquiry. If inquiry gives him a clean chit, I will walk up to him to get him back. But he should be a part of the inquiry.

It is being said that your elevation came at the cost of ignoring senior leaders.

I was the only one who was not given any party post. I just kept working. Kanwar Sandhu is heading the manifesto committee and Phoolka ji is fighting cases for riot victims.I was not holding any party post. So they considered me for this. They (senior leaders) are not upset with me. All of them called me to congratulate me.

What does it mean to be a convener of AAP in Punjab? Is it a rubber stamp, as many call it?

No. AAP’s Punjab Convener is not a rubber stamp. Every party has leaders from outside. Congress went with bouquets when Asha Kumari was appointed state affairs incharge. Akali Dal has GS Sarna. Is he from Punjab? AAP’s convener is mandated with strengthening the party.

With Arvind Kejriwal announcing he would be taking over the poll campaign himself in Punjab, you think convener will have a role?

If a DGP shows interest in a district, will the SSP have no role to play? He is the national convener. He is armed with the experience of winning two elections. We need his help.

When he comes to Punjab, will he buy a house in Punjab?

What is wrong if he buys a house in Punjab? I have a house in Maharashtra. Punjabis have houses in Himachal Pradesh. He is most welcome to come and buy a house here.

Does that mean he is trying to create a Punjab address for himself?

I know what you are trying to say. When he became the Chief Minister of Delhi, he was a resident of Gurgaon. What did that indicate?

Leaders like Navjot Sidhu, Bains brothers and Pargat Singh, who were once in touch with AAP are now coming up with a front. Will you approach them not to do so?

I was not in the loop about Navjot Sidhu’s talks with AAP. I will take stock at where it ended. I will personally go to Navjot if the party feels he can be of help. Otherwise, we all know what a front can achieve in four months. They will only be a spoiler. And any spoiler means helping Badals.

Are you satisfied with the 32 candidates named by the party? Or, will you seek a review?

I have not been able to study Punjab after the ticket distribution. I have not met volunteers. Still, as per the best of my knowledge, all seats were given to deserving and winning candidates.

Chhotepur says AAP uses and throws people. He has said you too would be used and thrown.

I am thankful to Chhotepur ji for being my well wisher. I do not let anyone use me and throw me.

Why is Bhagwant Mann not apologising for misbehaving with the media? Is it arrogance?

He will. I have taken up the matter with him and told him that he had very cordial relationship with media for over two decades. I asked him as to why he had to react in public like that. He is a friend. I understand this happens sometimes. He will soon be in front of the media.