Whatever low the graph of AAP's popularity goes in Punjab where, the party was seen by the people as a hope to change the face of dirty and drug-laced politics? We know politics is all about unexpectation. One small wrong by the opposition and Kejriwal will be back into business. Over the time in politics Arvind Kejriwal has evolved himself as a true leader; in politics you should know your friends and enemies as well. Should till what time you should utilize a resource and at what time you should change the resource. Kejriwal is the best example of this in the last 2 years we have seen how many people were shown the door of the party. From shanti bhushan to Sucha Singh Chhotepur and many other big and small leaders.
As the war between the members of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has come open, some major controversies that have come to highlight, which depicts that the reputation of Arvind Kejriwal-led party is severely damaged and requires a saving grace.
Co-incidentally, the instances have taken place around the time when rest of the opposition parties is gearing up for the upcoming assembly election in Gujarat , Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Goa. From Quran sacrilege case to Sucha Singh episode, the incidents have jolted AAP.
Earliar AAP party had gained a huge popularity in Punjab where people saw it as the clean party which could change the Punjab politics how ever after this many events it is doubtfull on the number of sheets it may win in the upcoming election in Punjab. Several opinion polls initially also hinted that AAP may win the polls by the majority in Punjab given its clean image. However, the recent incidents have done a huge damage.
Here are the seven controversies surrounding AAP which have blackened the image of the party ahead of Punjab polls in 2017:
- Comparing AAP youth manifesto with Guru Granth Sahib
Ashish Khetan from AAP, faced flak in Punjab after he compared the youth manifesto released by AAP on July 3 to holy Sikh book ‘Guru Granth Sahib’. Not just that, the picture of the cover of the manifesto also hurt the sentiment of Sikhs.
The photograph depicted Kejriwal with folded hands at holy Sikh shrine, Golden Temple in the background. What had hurt the Sikh community was the symbol of AAP which is a broom appearing over the water of the Sarovar on the cover photo.
Following the incident, Khetan immediately conducted a press conference the next day and issued an unconditional apology. He also mentioned about changing the front over of AAP youth manifesto.
- Quran Sacrilege Case
Naresh Yadav, Another Aam Aadmi Party MLA was arrested on July 24, 2016 on charges of alleged connections with the Quran Sacrilege incident while he stated it was a political conspiracy against him to damage the party's image. Some torn pages of Quran were found in a drain in front of a cemetery during the Islamic month of Ramzan in Malerkota which falls under Sangrur district of Punjab.
The interrogation started when Quran Sacrilege's accused Vijay Kumar claimed on 3rd July that he was offered Rs 1 crore by the AAP MLA from Mehrauli, Naresh Yadav for performing the sacrilege. Naresh Yadav said that AAP respects all the religions and he is not scared of the proceedings.
- AAP MP Bhagwant Mann's live video of Parliament
Bhagwant Mann, The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP from Sangrur in Punjab, had sparked controversy on July 21 by posting a live streaming video of the security pickets on Facebook while entering the Parliament. The video shows the security checks towards the Parliament premises and internal security positions.
He was asked to not attend the remaining Parliament sessions by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan after he drew flak on social media and by the opposition parties.
- Bhagwant Mann provokes AAP volunteers against journos
In Bassi Pathana, a rally was held in Punjab's Fatehgarh Sahib, Bhagwant Mann not only arrived three hours late but also misbehaved with the media persons. By the time he arrived at the venue, nearly half of the people had left the ground.
Irked Mann refused to talk to media while some AAP volunteers manhandled the situation and began sloganeering against media. The journalists had to run out of the venue for their safety. Punjab Police had booked AAP MP in connection with the incident.
Comedian-turned-politician Mann, otherwise, too does not have a clean image. He is often alleged of attending Parliament sessions in a drunken state.
- Tale of Sidhu and Kejriwal
After former BJP leader Navjot Singh Sindhu resigned as Rajya Sabha MP from BJP, the speculations of him joining AAP had spread like wildfire in political corridors. Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur made it clear that her husband will join the party that allows him to work on ground level in Punjab only since he wanted to give it back to the state which had made him what he is today.
It was almost confirmed that cricketer-turned-politician, Sidhu may be projected as the chief ministerial candidate of AAP from Punjab. Kejriwal, on Twitter, too confirmed meeting Sidhu but the dilly-dallying continued for some time.
Finally, when Navjot Kaur Sidhu announced a new political front Awaz-e-Punjab comprising of Navjot Sidhu, Pargat Singh, and Bains brothers, AAP was left embarrassed once again.
- Sucha Singh Chhotepur episode
The Punjab AAP convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur was sacked by the party on August 27 following allegations of taking bribe for allotting party tickets. Following the incident, Chhotepur blamed Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party for conspiring against him and said the party's plan has backfired and they don't have any future in Punjab.
On September 2, Chhotepur's supporter Hardip Singh Kingra had hit back with the audio of a sting operation and some pictures. According to Kingra, the national organisation secretary of AAP, Durgesh Pathak's agent demands Rs 5 lakh from the volunteers in order to fix a meeting with him.
He played the audio in media and showed a picture in which Ashutosh was seen holding a bag with Iqbal Singh Bhadowalia, which Kingra said was full of cash worth Rs 16 lakh. Iqbal Singh Bhadowalia is the AAP zonal coordinator from Tarn Taran.
Now, Sucha Singh, who has a huge base in Punjab is likely to join Navjot Singh Sidhu's 'Awaz-e-Punjab.'
- AAP MLA Devinder Sehrawat's allegations
After the arrest of sacked AAP MLA Sandeep Kumar on allegations of rape by a woman in the sex tape, AAP MLA from Bijwasan, Colonel Devinder Sehrawat blasted a letter bomb on September 4.
The letter being circulated in public domain hinted at the presence of more leaders like Sandeep Kumar in the party who are involved in the exploitation of women and allegedly running sex rackets. MLA Devinder Sehrawat has written the letter to party chief Arvind Kejriwal warning him that from Punjab to Delhi, several leaders of the party are exploiting women in the name of allotting them tickets.
Sehrawat, through his letter to Kejriwal, appealed that he should ensure the public belief in the party that it is in politics not to come to power but to change the current corrupt and self-serving system of politics forever.
BUt still we can say Kejriwal has many tricks in his hat, let wait and watch.
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