After Arvind Kejriwal setback, AAP’s Punjab, Delhi leaders close ranks : The Tribune India

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After Arvind Kejriwal setback, AAP’s Punjab, Delhi leaders close ranks

After Arvind Kejriwal setback, AAP’s Punjab, Delhi leaders close ranks

CM Bhagwant Mann with AAP leader Sanjay Singh on Tuesday.



Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, April 9

The top leadership of the AAP in Punjab and Delhi seems to be closing ranks in order to put up their best show in the Lok Sabha poll.

Bhagwant Mann, Sanjay Singh to meet Kejriwal in jail today

CM Bhagwant Mann and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh will meet Arvind Kejriwal in Tihar Jail on Wednesday afternoon

Till recently, murmurs of growing chasm between the state leaders and party leaders from Delhi were often heard in the corridors of power. However, now pushed into the corner after the arrest of party supremo Arvind Kejriwal, state and Delhi leaders have found bonhomie and were unitedly strategising the run for the elections, considered crucial for the party.

This was evident in today’s meeting of party MLAs, ministers, constituency in-charges, and its 9 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, jointly chaired by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, party’s Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Singh and Sandeep Pathak and state units working president Budh Ram.

Sources in the party say that the party strategists wanted to get the right optics for the meeting. A video of the CM and his wife Gurpreet Kaur welcoming Sanjay, who has recently been released on bail, was immediately shared to show the excellent relations between the two sides. Also, the first one hour of the two-hour meeting of MLAs, ministers and LS candidates, was chaired by Pathak, who is also national general secretary of AAP, at the CM residence — something that would not have been possible a few months ago.

Sources say that the MLAs and LS candidates were made aware of the party’s campaign strategy. The MLAs have been asked to hold ‘jan sabhas’ in their constituencies. The different cells of the party comprising traders’ cell, women wing, youth wing etc., will hold separate meetings to reach out to maximum voters. Pathak is learnt to have asked the party leaders to focus on free power to domestic consumers and job creation, besides strengthening of public healthcare and public sector education.

Earlier, Mann and Sanjay had a closed door meeting before they joined the meeting with other party leaders. Sources say that they discussed the current political situation in the country, Punjab in particular. While chairing the meeting they warned against poaching attempts by the BJP and told MLAs that it was their collective responsibility to ensure that the party won all 13 seats in the state.

Besides, the party will be concentrating on projecting their ‘pro-farmer stand’ and attacking the BJP and SAD for their alleged anti-farmer stand. Sanjay, while talking to mediapersons later, said the BJP had hatched a political conspiracy to arrest Kejriwal. “I have asked party leaders to give a befitting reply to the BJP by defeating them in the elections,” he said.

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