Bureaucracy did AAP in: Malvinder Singh Kang on poll loss : The Tribune India

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Bureaucracy did AAP in: Malvinder Singh Kang on poll loss

‘Politically aligned officers worked for Opposition parties’

Bureaucracy did AAP in: Malvinder Singh Kang on poll loss

Malvinder Kang, AAP spokesman



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22

As the Aam Aadmi Party studies its electoral performance and reasons for the defeat in 10 of the 13 constituencies in Punjab, an important analysis that has emerged is that the “Punjab bureaucracy did the party in”.

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“We are concerned about the results,” stated the newly elected Member of Parliament from Anandpur Sahib and chief spokesperson for the party, Malvinder Singh Kang, during an interview with The Tribune. “Not just during the elections, but even before the poll, many bureaucrats have remained politically aligned with either the Congress or the Akali Dal. They seem to have worked for them. For example, during the elections, in order to favour an opposition party candidate and discredit the ruling party, a bureaucrat in Chamkaur Sahib issued a notice of eviction of people living along the river. In many constituencies, similar instances have come to light,” he said.

Kang said the AAP government had been trying to de-politicise the bureaucracy by undertaking an administrative reshuffle, but the impact of other parties on these officers had not gone. “They have been humiliating our party cadres by not giving them an audience when they go to get any public work done,” he lamented.

Talking about the rise of radical politics in Punjab after the election of two radical leaders as MPs — Amritpal Singh and Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa — the AAP MP said there was a feeling of alienation among most Punjabis, created by the BJP-led Centre.

“Our farmers are not allowed to go to the national capital to protest and huge concrete walls are erected on the border with Haryana. We are not getting our right on the state’s capital; we are not getting our dues from the Centre; our influence in the BBMB is waning and other states are being allowed to stake claim to our heritage institutions like Panjab University. How can this be justified? There is no radicalism in Punjab, but these people have been chosen by the electorate. The people’s mandate has come out in the form of emergence of leaders like Amritpal,” he said.

Asked about the brewing rebellion in the state unit of the party after the declaration of the election results, Kang said there was no rebellion or parallel power centres, but the party was using all its leaders to find out the reasons for the defeat.

“We were expecting to win 11 of the 13 seats. There was no immediate talk of a Cabinet rejig, but a reshuffle is the prerogative of the CM. Mann is the most popular face of the party and he will continue to be the CM,” he said.

Kang admitted that there was a gap between the AAP MLAs and the public, which cost the party dear. “It’s not that the MLAs did not go to their constituencies, but they did not become socially active there. Each constituency had different issues that impacted the results,” he said.

Kang also spoke about the rampant drug abuse in the state and said drugs were coming from across the International Border and were also being pushed into the state from the BJP-ruled Maharashtra and Gujarat. “CM Mann has asked for help from Home Minister Amit Shah to check the drug smuggling from across the border through drones, but Shah has not responded,” he said, adding the BJP was using all mediums to defame Punjab on the drug issue.

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