As AAP plays its cards in Punjab, Congress calls it copycathttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/as-aap-plays-its-cards-in-punjab-cong-calls-it-copycat/

As AAP plays its cards in Punjab, Congress calls it copycat

The Congress on Tuesday termed AAP a ‘copycat’ for distributing similar cards on the lines of the former's ‘berozgari bhatta’.

A card issued by AAP in Punjab.
A card issued by AAP in Punjab.

Days after Congress was found distributing cards promising employment and ‘berozgari bhatta’ of Rs 2,500 per month to unemployed people despite the code of conduct being in place, the party in a statement Tuesday termed AAP a ‘copycat’ for distributing similar cards. The blue colour cards being distributed by AAP promises one job every household and unemployment allowance. Carrying the party’s symbol and picture of Arvind Kejriwal, the cards also contains an ‘oath’ with signatures of Kejriwal, which reads, “I, Arvind Kejriwal promises all youths registered under our scheme that if we form the government in 2017, we will provide one job every household and unemployment allowance till a job is not provided.”

Read: Model code in, Punjab Congress still playing ‘cards’

AAP have been allegedly registering youths in this scheme across the state and handing over these cards to them as receipts. The Congress, under its campaign programme ‘Har Ghar Captain, Har Ghar Naukri’, is issuing similar cards coloured in red and carrying an oath by Captain Amarinder Singh.

An IPAC team member, handling the Congress’ campaign said, “It is utterly shameful that AAP has once again copied our idea and concept. This is not the first time. Earlier, they copied debt waiver promise forms and social media campaigns as well. It was the Har Ghar Naukri campaign which first introduced these cards and registered youths.”

Countering Congress allegations, AAP media coordinator MS Sidhu said, “Which copycat idea are they talking about? Our manifesto was the first one to promise a job to the unemployed youths and these cards are further extension of our manifesto. Congress’ manifesto was released just a day back and they are claiming we are copycat. We are only promoting what we had promised in the manifesto.”

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Meanwhile, both AAP and Congress are claiming that distributing these cards is not ‘code violation.’ “We are not violating any code of conduct as we have permission for it,” claimed the IPAC member. Similarly, Sidhu said, “Promoting our own manifesto is no code violation.” Earlier, HS Phoolka, AAP senior leader, had said that ‘Congress is indirectly bribing voters by issuing cards promising money and EC should take action against it.’

AAP candidate gets EC notice

Returning Officer Dalwinderjit Singh issued notice to AAP Sahnewal candidate Harjot Singh Bains Tuesday for allegedly violating the code of conduct. The notice has been issued after complaint by SAD candidate and cabinet minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. The notice states reason as ‘violation of code of conduct by distributing registration forms of different types of welfare schemes’

“We have seized two samples of forms which were being distributed by AAP in the area. It is an oath letter holding Kejriwal’s signatures promising jobs, debt waiver for farmers and old age pension. Registration forms are also attached with oath letter. Time to reply to notice is by 5 pm Wednesday,” the RO said. Bains did not reply to the calls. His legal manager Ramesh Kumar said that notice is yet to reach them.