Updated: September 1, 2021 10:24:34 am
In less than a week after it was launched, three founder members of Sanjha Sunehra Punjab Manch (SSPM) Tuesday announced their “collective departure” from the outfit alleging that it “is a captive platform for the furtherance of the vested interests of a few individuals”.
A former diplomat K C Singh had on August 25 launched the SSPM objective to spread awareness about challenges, possible solutions and a roadmap for a golden future of Punjab. Those who resigned on Tuesday include its secretary Col LJS Gill (retd) and founder members Professor Ronki Ram and Justice (retd) DPS Gill.
“It is with deep regret that we announce our collective departure from Sanjha Sunehra Punjab Manch. We had earlier lent unconditional support to this seemingly noble initiative since it was understood by us to be an apolitical forum, working to uplift our beloved state from its current systemic chaos,” the trio stated in a “letter of exit” from the forum.
The letter took objections to “some aspects of the pre-launch, launch”, forum’s advertisement projecting a “disproportionately large picture” of convenor KC Singh “towering over other founder-members, at launch, nameplate only of convenor, the live streaming exclusively of KC Singh at launch and key political events being planned solely by an unseen coterie”.
It read, “It came as a shock to learn that (former) Ambassador KC Singh, convenor of the SSP, had stated in a tweet dated 29th August 2021 that “—With me colleagues from the to be formally created (a SSP manch.” With the public launch of the SSPM having already happened on 25th August 2021 in Chandigarh at the Hyatt hotel, such a tweet — which has now been deleted — shows concealed malafide intent. It has become disturbingly clear to us that the professed objectives are not the intended objective, and that this forum is a captive platform for the furtherance of the vested interests of a few individuals.”
Col LJS Gill (retd) said over phone, “We had formed a working group which drafted the vision and mission for this manch. We are committed for the betterment of Punjab. But, there are silent and invisible teams using the platform for political aspirations.”
Expressing displeasure over the things which unfolded after formal launch of the forum, Professor Ronki Ram said, “The forum was supposed to be apolitical and people centric.”
Soon after the launch, there were fissures in the SSPM with number of members flagging various issues on a WhatsApp group, said a member.
KC Singh, in a press release, while reacting to “resignation of Col LJS Gill, Prof Ronki Ram, and DPS Gill” wished them “well in their future endeavours”.
He further stated, “As mentioned at the launch on August 25, this is an informal, open platform, not yet registered, nor its charter formalised. Therefore, speculation about the reasons for individuals joining or exiting at this stage is premature. It is reiterated that the SSPM shall never be turned into a political party although it shall discuss all issues facing Punjab and present to the people possible solutions. It shall also interact with the people through small meetings, webinars etc. Through this dialogue the Manch hopes to bridge the divide between the rulers and the masses.”
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