After carrying the flags of Swaraj Abhiyan for months, the splinter group of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), who had repositioned themselves under the banner of ‘Swaraj Lehar,’ on Sunday floated a new regional political party by the name of Swaraj Party or SP. The arrival of this new party will undoubtedly create a stir in the political circles of Punjab as things are quite prone to get effected at this juncture for the state, which is set to go for the Vidhan Sabha elections early next year. While announcing the new party, a former AAP leader Prof Manjit Singh claimed to have the backing of two suspended AAP MPs, Dr Dharamvir Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa. The announcement itself indicates that Gandhi and Khalsa, who were the integral part of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan’s Swaraj Abhiyan, will now be the key players in this new outfit but the cards will actually be revealed at the right time.
One thing, however, is very clear, The new outfit is going to be a constant source of political headache for the AAP strategists, who are dreaming to form the next government in the state, but will be a music to the ears of Congress and SAD-BJP alliance. The newly floated party’s constitution runs into 14-pages, which further has a 23-point agenda including free education, free health and medical services, a debt-free rural Punjab, expansion of MGNREGA, fight for the implementation of Riparian principles for the distribution of river waters of Punjab, which is also the stand of SAD so far as sharing river waters is concerned. It is pertinent to mention that on the issue of river water, Congress and SAD hold identical views, while the AAP’s stand is tilted towards Delhi where the nascent political outfit is in power. One may see the SP an alternate of AAP, that too when the latter is claiming to register a clean sweep in Punjab polls in 2017.
At least, the SP will certainly puncture AAP’s high voltage attack on the SAD-BJP and the Congress in run up to the Assembly polls. Riding high on the ‘anti-incumbency’ factor for the past few weeks, the AAP was trying to woo the voters with a claim of bagging 100 of the total 117 seats but now with the arrival of Swaraj party that has reportedly born out of “favouratism and biases” of the AAP, the latter will have to revise its survey claim. There is no doubt that the AAP was emerging a major crowd puller across the state but the two traditionally rival parties were leaving no stone to undermine the current of white caps. There was a virtual phobia of AAP in the hearts of SAD and Congress in Punjab, all due to the party’s hype in different sections of the society. Though it’s all hypothetical assessment of things, the arrival of Swaraj Party would have now certainly made the two traditional rivals heave a sigh of relief as the new party is committed to expose the “bad deeds” of the AAP in a planned way.
In the days ahead masses in the state will come across another brigade of people in caps with nationalist slogans as a state working committee of 41 members has already been constituted to expand the base of Swaraj Party at the block and village level. It is worth mentioning that earlier Swaraj Lehar had enrolled members from all over the state and in half of the districts, the party has already elected district committees. The formation of district committees in the remaining 11 districts would be completed within the next two weeks, claims the party chief Prof Manjit Singh, who further says that his party would definitely contest Punjab Assembly election 2017 but without mentioning the exact number of seats as he knows that selection of candidates will surely be a tough task. In such case the AAP will also not be much comfortable in comparison to the SAD-BJP alliance and Congress for the two being well experienced for regularly in the same practice. The emergence of Swaraj party will give an option to people while going for vote and many were quick to opine that it may also affect the love of the SAD and Congress for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) this time. Whatever the outcome be, it is certain that Punjab will see a different paradigm of polls this time.
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