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Monday, January 24, 2022

Playing Out in Punjab: It’s Kejriwal’s forms Vs Channi’s cheques in Ludhiana’s Atam Nagar

Kejriwal has promised Rs 1,000 every month to every women above the age of 18, if AAP is voted power.

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana |
Updated: December 8, 2021 10:12:44 am
AAP’s Kulwant Sidhu helps women fill forms for Kejriwal’s third guarantee, in Atam Nagar of Ludhiana. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)

“Channi had promised that he would make your electricity bills zero… did it happen?”
A woman answers: “Yesterday only I paid a Rs 4,000 bill. They also charged a late fee.”
“Captain had promised that he would give smartphones and jobs to your children.. Did that happen?”
The woman replies again, “My son has an MBA degree but is still unemployed.”

“It means that both the CM (Charanjit Singh Channi) and former CM (Captain Amarinder Singh) lied to you people..”

The man asking the questions is Kulwant Singh Sidhu, AAP’s probable candidate from Atam Nagar. To fulfill party chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s third guarantee, Sidhu is doing the rounds of the constituency, talking to women and making them fill the forms.

The form of Kejriwal’s third guarantee for women.

Kejriwal has promised Rs 1,000 every month to every women above the age of 18, if AAP is voted power. “So fill these forms and all our sisters will get Rs 1,000 in their bank accounts every month,” said Sidhu, while starting the drive in Atam Nagar.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal formally launched the registration drive from Jalandhar and claimed that the welfare scheme will be funded by stopping the Rs 20,000-crore illegal sand mining business, which he alleged, is filling the pockets of Punjab ministers.

“AAP will stop the theft of Rs. 20,000 crore through illegal sand mining and credit that money in the accounts of women,” the Delhi CM sais addressing women in Sarai Khas village under Kartarpur Assembly segment.

The registration form for the scheme comes with instructions for the leaderr, candidates, or party workers who will conduct the drives in their areas.

They have to ask two questions from women — “Vote kis party nu?” (Which party would you like to vote for?) and Would you ask your entire family to vote for AAP?.

Kamaljit Karwal of Congress distributed cheques under ‘Punjab Nirmal Programme’ to women. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)

The additional instructions states that if the respondent takes the name of some other party, then the AAP representative must try to convince her to vote for AAP. “Ohna nu AAP nu vote den layi prerit karo,” the instruction in Punjabi states. The form also has Kejriwal’s digitised signature on it.

Sidhu, however, has found a unique way to get the forms filled. Once a Congressman, Sidhu has got 10 vehicles customised with AAP touch and sound systems attached to them. The vehicles with Kejriwal’s photo, a broom and the slogan ‘Ikk mauka Kejriwal nu’ (One chance to Kejriwal) stop wherever a group of women can be seen. He then asks them about the promises made by Channi and Captain on the microphone. “When the women say none of those have been fulfilled, we request them to fill our form and vote for Kejriwal,” he said, adding that Tuesday was the third day of the drive in his constituency.

Atam Nagar is headed for an interesting contest. While the incumbent MLA is Lok Insaf Party (LIP) chief Simarjeet Singh Bains, Akali Dal has announced advocate Harish Rai Dhanda, the counsel of the woman who has filed a rape case against Bains, as its candidate from the seat.

Karwal said that they giving priority to widows for the scheme. (Express photo)

Bains’ bete noire Kamaljit Singh Karwal is the probable Congress candidate from Atam Nagar, while Kulwant Singh Sidhu will most likely to get a ticket from AAP.

In 2017, Bains had won the seat defeating Karwal and SAD’s Gurmeet Singh Kular. AAP didn’t contest from here in 2017 and had entered alliance with LIP.

On Tuesday, as Sidhu was busy getting froms filled in Shimlapuri area, Congress’ Karwal was busy distributing cheques to women in the same area, under CM Charanjit Singh Channi’s ‘Punjab Nirman Programme’. Under the scheme, poor families are being given cheques for repair and renovation of their houses.

Karwal, once a close aide of MLA Bains when both were in Youth Akali Dal but later turned foes, said, “We are giving priority to women for this financial assistance of Rs 20,000 to each family so that they can repair their homes. It is always better to give cheques than money so that it is properly utilised. We will be distributing around 6,000 cheques in Atam Nagar constituency, totalling Rs 12 crore, to help poor families.”

Karwal added that Channi had announced his help for the poor much before Kejriwal came up with his third guarantee for women.

Meanwhile, Shashi, a homemaker from Ambedkar Nagar, said that no one forced her to fill the form and she was just following other women from her neighborhood. “I don’t know if Kejriwal will fulfil his promise. But when in need, even Rs 100 matters a lot. So it will be good if we get Rs 1,000,” she said.

Earlier, reacting to Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi remarks that he was turning the state’s women into “beggars”, Kejriwal said: “I want to ask him (Channi) that are not those beggars who have been looting state for years by indulging in illegal sand mining?”
With ENS Jalandhar

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