AAM Aadmi Party’s (AAP) women’s wing in Punjab has been organising Mahila Shakti Abhiyaan under its president, Baljinder Kaur, who belongs to Jaga Ram Teerath village, Talwandi Sabo.
When was the state women wing of AAP created and how is it functioning ?
The state women wing of the AAP was formed in July this year and I was appointed its president. Later, I toured the entire state for a month to build my team. Today, I have 13 parliamentary constituency in-charges and 39 sector in-charges. Vidhan Sabha constituency heads and even circle heads have been appointed. Each sector head has six members under her. The entire state body has been formed and comprises mainly homemakers and women from apolitical backgrounds. Our Mahila Shakti Abhiyaan was started from November 24 and it is still on.
How many members have enrolled with AAP’s women wing so far?
As of now, over eight lakh women have enrolled with the women wing.
How is your wing different from women wings of the parties?
The women wing of AAP is working at the grassroots level. And it is unlike the rival parties, where women are dummy candidates and it is their husbands or sons who are seen in public.
What are the main issues that the wing is taking up?
The main issue of AAP’s women wing is to maintain the dignity and respect of women in society. The regional and national parties working have brought so much disrepute to politics that women are scared of joining politics. We are building confidence among the masses and all our office-bearers are from among them. They had never given speeches and today they are good orators. We are creating leaders out of the common lot so that in 2017 vidhan Sabha elections, a significant number of women can get tickets to contest the polls.
What sort of issues are raised at Mahila Shakti Abhiyaan?
Women from rural as well as urban areas mostly raise the issue of drug addiction and domestic violence. At my recent meetings in Dera Bassi, Moga and Ajnala, women said their sons and husbands were drug addicts and that they were earning to run their families. The women also said that husbands were beating them for money to buy drugs. We want reputation of the women to be maintained and this is the foremost promise of the women wing.
Are you following the Delhi campaign style in Punjab?
Of course, we are following the Delhi model to win this election as well. We are doing mass networking in Punjab so that people connect with us directly.
How are you going to tackle the issue of drug addiction ?
As of now, we are hearing out the women as a majority of them have not even been heard even once. They break down while narrating their tales. We are counselling them, providing them mental support and are asking them to be part of AAP. Once our party will come in power, we will tackle this issue practically.