Kejriwal to start Punjab tour tomorrow

Chandigarh: Arvind Kejriwal will undertake a four-day visit to poll-bound Punjab beginning tomorrow and hear out the grievances of party workers in the state, a visit which at a time when AAP is facing “crisis” over several issues including sacking of Sucha Singh Chhotepur as Punjab Convenor.

During his tour, the national convener will meet party volunteers, workers, including those who are “angry over not getting party tickets”, amid “growing voices of rebel” and allegations of exploitation of women which could threaten to derail the party’s prospects in high-stake 2017 Assembly polls.

“He will meet volunteers, observers, workers. He will also meet those who are unhappy over not getting party tickets. He will hear out anyone who has any grievance with the party,” AAP’s Punjab Co-convenor and MLA Jarnail Singh told PTI today.

“He wants to say that he is in Punjab and do not worry. If you have any problem or grievance, I am here to listen to you,” Singh said.

The visit of the Delhi Chief Minister assumes significance as the AAP was facing “crisis” after Chhotepur was removed as party’s Punjab Convenor for allegedly accepting money on the basis of a sting video.

Chhotepur received “huge support” from party volunteers in the state and has now been undertaking ‘Punjab Parivartan Yatra’ and meeting volunteers to suggest him the future course of action.

Former Punjab Convenor had even claimed that out of 32 declared party nominees, 25 were facing “stiff opposition” from party volunteers so far.

Six out of 13 party’s zonal coordinators had even decided to support Chhotepur. Rebel party workers had even accused party’s senior leadership of sidelining Punjab leaders and threatened to show black flags to Kejriwal when he would visit the state.

Significantly, the formation of ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’ front by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu along with MLA Pargat Singh and two Ludhiana MLA brothers Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Bains may also be a concern for the AAP.

The Delhi Chief Minister will stay at the house of party’s volunteer at Jhande village in Ludhiana from September 8 till 10. There, he will meet volunteers and party workers in Ludhiana.

On September 11, Kejriwal will interact with doctors and teachers in Patiala. And the same day, he will launch party’s farmers’ manifesto at Baghapurana in Moga.