Updated: August 18, 2021 11:48:38 pm
THE SHIROMANI Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to put the spotlight on the shortcomings of its opponents — the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — as it steps up its poll preparations in the run-up to the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections.
The SAD on Tuesday released a “Jantak Chargesheet”, in which it targeted the AAP — the party that was responsible for pushing it to the third spot in the 2017 Punjab polls. The AAP had emerged as the main opposition party in the Punjab Assembly after the 2017 polls.
The Akali Dal charge sheet highlighted the ‘AAP’s hypocrisy on the Farm Laws’. It says, “While the AAP government in Delhi claims to stand against the farm laws, it has quietly notified one of the three laws, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance 2020 on November 23, 2020. This shows that the AAP-led government in Delhi has only disregarded the voices of farmers from across the country.”
Terming the AAP as ‘anti-women’, the charge sheet further said, “In addition to various cases of women’s harassment in Delhi by AAP MLAs, such as Sandeep Kumar from Sultanpur Majra, Delhi, who was accused of raping a woman in 2015. The AAP has been continuously embroiled in anti-women activities even across Punjab. In 2016, AAP MLA from Bijwasan, Punjab, Colonel Devinder Sehrawat claimed he had received ‘disturbing reports’ of women being ‘exploited’ in Punjab with promises of election tickets from the party.”
Accusing the Delhi government, led by AAP, of ‘power scarcity’, the charge sheet said, “The Kejriwal-led AAP government has been operating as a dictatorial unit. Disciples in Punjab take orders from these masters in Delhi and execute them in Punjab. However, the truth of the matter is that the AAP hardly cares about Punjab. The welfare of Punjabis is secondary for them. This was recently observed after Kejriwal’s announcement of 300 units of free power for Punjab and the horrendous politics that ensued.”
The charge sheet also accused AAP of ‘politicizing Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan Issue’. It read “While the Aam Aadmi Party pretends to be the beacon of truth and transparency in Punjab politics, it has always played the politics of deception. This shows that the AAP clearly has a political agenda and is more than willing to accept bureaucrats who bend rules to pursue politics.”
Taking on water management, it said. “The AAP has been consistent in its hypocrisy against the people of Punjab, not just in matters of agriculture and power, but even with respect to water sharing in the state. The AAP continues to file submissions in court supporting Haryana’s cause for the construction of Sutlej Yamuna Link canal, at the expense of Punjab’s future. It is evident that Arvind Kejriwal wants to prioritise the cause of his native state Haryana.”
The ‘charge sheet also hit out at the AAP government on ‘Delhi communal riots’. It read, “TheAAP’s undemocratic and radicalised elements are always on the lookout to flare up tensions in the social realm to suit their political agenda. The weight to this statement comes from the AAP’s shortcomings in the recent Delhi riots in 2020.” At least 52 people were killed and more than 200 were left injured after riots had broken out in north-east Delhi on February 24, 2020, after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiraled out of control.
The SAD also ridiculed the AAP for “supporting secessionist Khalistani agenda” and stated that “the AAP is a party that can go to any extreme, to maintain their political position. The party has on several occasions been found to be involved in Khalistani agenda. Two active Khalistani terror operatives arrested from Nawanshahar and Hoshiarpur districts of Punjab were actively working for the AAP during the 2017 Assembly elections.”
“AAP has not stopped its anti-Punjabiyat politics since its advent in Punjab. Even before its first election in Punjab in 2017, Delhi’s AAP legislator Naresh Yadav was found fomenting communal tensions in 2016. He committed sacrilege on Quran in Punjab’s Muslim-dominated town of Malerekotla,” read the charge sheet.
It further read, “The AAP has no ideological vision for the welfare of its constituents. The party runs around the personality cult and megalomania of Arvind Kejriwal. Despite making tall promises, it has completely ignored the plight of the Punjabis.”
Contacted for a reply to SAD’s ‘chargesheet’, Leader of Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Harpal Singh Cheema, said, “All the problems and issues mentioned in the chargesheet are making of the Akali Dal when they ruled the state. The AAP has not ruled Punjab so far.”
Cheema lauded the AAP government in Delhi and said AAP returned to power with a “thumping majority as it took “pro-people measures related to electricity, transportation, and education, among others.”
Pirmal Singh, who was elected on an AAP ticket from Bhadaur in the 2017 Assembly elections, but later joined the Congress, when contacted, said that both the Akali Dal and the AAP were equally to blame for the apt failures in Punjab.
On the farm laws, Pirmal said, “There are videos where Harsimrat Badal, Sukhbir Badal, and Parkash Singh Badal have defended the farm laws. People will give answers during the upcoming polls.”
Pirmal also hit out at AAP on its stance on stubble burning and promise of “free power”
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