The restructuring of the Aam Aadmi Party organisation in Punjab is a belated step and a half way house as state president Bhagwant Mann and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema have not been removed, rebel party leaders Tuesday said.
Suspended party MLA Kanwar Sandhu said that he others had demanded a total rehaul of organisational set up. “It is an old demand of ours that the (existing) organisation should be done away with and a new set up should come up, which gives voice to the party’s members from within the state. To that extent it is a belated set up. But it is a half way house. The state president still remains along with the Leader of Opposition,” Sandhu said while talking to the Indian Express.
Sandhu, and another rebel MLA Jagdev Singh Kamalu, said that if the AAP really wants that fresh faces or a new thought has to be brought in then everyone in the party should be asked for feedback.
“We have no indication that anyone has been spoken to about the new organisational set up. No effort has been made to talk to people as per my knowledge,” Sandhu said.
Referring to the state of the party in Punjab, the two rebel leaders said that no new person wants to join the party now.
“There is no perceptible strength at the ground level. There are the same 15-20 persons in every constituency that turn up for their events. They have not informed till date why Sucha Singh Chottepur was thrown out of the party and even now no one has talked to him,” they said.
Sandhu added that the decision to do away with the organisational structure was a sign of confusion. “We said long back that this structure will not work. This has been proved. Otherwise why have they done this? If they really want to improve the party then they should not work with bias”.
Former Patiala MP, Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, who remained suspended in AAP for a long period of time before he floated his own political platform, said that every party has a right to set its house in order but AAP lacked political position on important issues.
“They are making good governance an issue by talking about Delhi. It is not possible to repeat the Delhi experiment in Punjab as the situation and finances here are completely different. What they are talking about doing in Punjab about liquor mafia, sand mafia etc is not going to make a difference. Same narrative is being followed by all parties,” he said.
Gandhi said that if AAP was aiming at 2022 Punjab Assembly elections then the fact is that there is no future for the party in state but there remains a space for a third front.
He added that AAP could be booted out of contention if like-minded parties and individuals like (Congress MLA and former minister) Navjot Singh Sidhu and others come together.
“People are fed up with SAD-BJP and now Congress. In 2022, they are likely to give their votes to another party or group of parties. All Punjabi parties should come together. Sidhu is not opening his cards. If we all get together and Sidhu comes with us then we stand a chance and AAP will have no scope,” said Gandhi.
Leader of Opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema, said that the reorganisation being undertaken now was on different lines and not what the rebel leaders had been demanding.
“They were demanding something else. They wanted to keep power with themselves. We have made the decision to disband party structure and build anew after holding wide ranging meetings with representatives of all Assembly constituencies. The new structure will be announced in another 15-20 days,” he said.
Last week AAP had dissolved its organizational structure, including the core committee, all wings (units) and district units stating that it wanted to strengthen its base in Punjab under ‘Mission-2022’.
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