Thursday, February 13, 2020

At Mansa’s anti-CAA protest, AAP future in Punjab dominates discourse

Principal Budh Ram, AAP MLA from Mansa’s Budhalada constituency, spoke at length about how AAP won polls in Delhi and how the movement can be replicated in Punjab as well. At Mansa’s anti-CAA protest, AAP future in Punjab dominates discourse
AAP MLA from Budhlada Budh Ram at the protest against CAA in Mansa. (Express Photo: Gurmeet Singh)



A day after AAP won a landslide victory in Delhi polls, an indefinite anti-CAA dharna that began in Mansa saw participants bringing up the ‘Kejriwal model’ as the ‘third alternative’ in Punjab. The morcha is being supported by the CPI and other like minded organisations.


Principal Budh Ram, AAP MLA from Mansa’s Budhalada constituency, spoke at length about how AAP won polls in Delhi and how the movement can be replicated in Punjab as well. 

MLA Bud Ram later told The Indian Express, “I even told the gathering that AAP won polls in Delhi on the basis of work done by the party on health and education front. They were provided subsidised power. When such facilities are available in foreign countries, why our residents should lag behind. I am sure political parties have understood now that the one who will work for the masses, will win for sure.”

In his speech, the MLA said, “We have been against the CAA right from the beginning. Our state leaders will also join this dharna to give impetus to it and every day our workers will join the dharna in large numbers. This is our fight against the Act which is creating a divide and rule policy in the country…..Kejriwal Model is the centre of discussion all over the country now. The same model can be run here as well. “

Former CPI MLA Hardev Arshi also attended the protest. Gurlabh Singh Mahal, advocate and member of the morcha, said,”After Delhi polls, we too have started thinking seriously that a third front needs to stand tall against SAD-BJP and Congress. No doubt AAP can play a great role. But they need to take the Left along. They need to have a common platform along with them to be a third option before masses.”

Ruldu Singh, president of Punjab Kisan Morcha said,”We had started taking AAP as a non-serious party in Punjab, their MLAs had almost gone in hibernation in their own constituencies. But now we think that they can be a ray of hope yet again provided they take the Left parties along so as to create a balance. They should not do the same mistakes that they did in 2017. In Delhi, they have worked.”

Dhana Mal Goyal, president of Punjab Medical Practitioners Association, added, “I think we can consider AAP as a third front in Punjab as we are neither happy with SAD-BJP nor with the Congress. But my point is that third front should be strong enough which can give a tough fight to their rivals. They should learn from their past mistakes. I hope they will give importance to local leadership in Punjab. Delhi polls have an automatic effect on Punjab and we cannot deny that.”

AAP’s former Patiala MP, Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, came as representative of his own organisation — Punjab Manch, but he spoke about the CAA alone. Representatives from CPI (ML), AAP workers and many other organisations were part of the protest that will continue from 9 am to 5 pm daily.--IE



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