IN A confidential meeting with AAP candidates for the Punjab Assembly elections in 2017 that lasted over five hours at Jhande village of Ludhiana Thursday, the party’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reminded them of the “three Cs (crime, corruption and character)” and warned, “Any proof against any of you and it will not take me more than a minute to throw them out.”
“He was very clear about it. He said any AAP candidate failing in any of the three Cs will be replaced immediately, even a day before the polls,” said a candidate who did not wish to be named.
He also specifically spoke to the candidates facing protests and opposition in their areas by party volunteers and told them to adopt a “policy of reconciliation.”
“He told them to go and meet protesting volunteers and make peace. He has told volunteers to take the first step and break the ice. He has made it clear that party cannot afford to lose cadre which was with AAP since its inception and thus candidates who have been given tickets despite them being newcomers have to address resentment of local volunteers,” said another candidate who attended the meeting.
Apparently jittery after a string of sting operations targeting its leaders, the party candidates who attended the meet were ‘advised’ to switch off their cellphones. “Most of them switched off phones on their own,” claimed a source.
Kejriwal also urged candidates to be “extra careful” and not to fall prey to “conspiracies being planned against AAP by the Badals.”
He cited the ouster of Sucha Singh Chhotepur as AAP’s state convener and warned the candidates that “they will also get the same treatment if a shred of proof crops against them.”
“People used to come to me and say that Chhotepur does this, he does that. He took this much money, etc. I told them to get proof and the day I got proof, action was taken within seconds. I do not hesitate to say that I will do the same if anything is proved against any one of you. But let me assure you, I am talking here of allegations with proof and not merely allegations made in the air,” Kejriwal is learnt to have told the candidates.
Kejriwal has announced for a ‘khulla darbaar’ (open public meeting) on Friday and Saturday where he will listen to grievances of volunteers, observers, etc from all constituencies.