Jalandhar: The maiden protest of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in favour of farmers in the grain markets on Monday ended up as a damp squib, as none of the party volunteers turned up for the protest.
AAP had planned the Jalandhar Zone protest at the grain market, where only a handful of five party leaders including – Gulshan Sharma, Darshan Bhagat, Rajiv Chaudhary, Major Singh and Atam Parkash Singh Babloo reached. The protest was scheduled from 11 am to 2 pm on Monday.
The AAP leadership has specifically mentioned in their messages that ‘All volunteers are requested to attend in their respective areas in strength and be on time’. It was learnt that the party leaders waited for the volunteers, but none turned up.
The AAP leaders had decided to not only hold a massive dharna in the grain market but also distribute ‘Karza Muafi’ forms to the farmers. They had also planned distribution of ‘Kisan and Labour’ manifesto to the farmers and explain farmer’s welfare measures and activities planned by AAP it its farmer manifesto.
Sources maintained sheer lack of coordination was at the forefront once again, as information egarding the protest and even other important gatherings was not shared well on time. “Assembly elections are just three months away and such a response from the volunteers indeed gives a wrong message,” sources added.
Many volunteers shared that they learnt about the protest at the grain market late on Sunday evening. “How could we attend the protest, when the message was shared at the last moment? Party workers shared the message of AAP Punjab convener Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi to hold a protest on Whatsapp group,” shared some volunteers.
When asked about the failure of farmers protest, AAP Jalandhar Zonal in-charge Rajiv Chaudhary claimed party volunteers were busy in door-to-door campaign in their respective areas. “We had planned that wherever party has announced the candidates, they would reach the grain markets. The volunteers were not supposed to join the candidates. They reached out to their respective areas,” he said. However, Chaudhary maintained that the timing of the protest was not apt, as paddy procurement season was coming to an end. “But, our protest was good,” he claimed.
AAP holds protest over farmers’ ‘mistreatment’
Chandigarh: Activists of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday staged dharnas in the grain markets in the state to protest against Punjab government’s alleged “apathy” towards farmers, especially paddy growers.
Protests were held at Nawanshahr, Balachaur and Banga in Nawanshahr district and Phagwara and Moga, reports here said.
Charanjit Singh Channi, Brig (retd) Raj Kumar and Harjot Kaur, who will contest from Nawanshahr, Balachaur and Banga assembly segments respectively on AAP ticket in the upcoming Punjab assembly polls, led these dharnas.
In Nawanshahr, the activists first gathered at the party office on Saloh Road and from there they proceeded to the grain market.
Addressing protestors, the speakers, including Channi, lambasted the Badal government for its alleged failure to make timely payments to the farmers for the procured paddy.
They held the alleged “embezzlement of Rs 12,000 crore funds by the Badal government responsible for the present financial crunch in the state”.
They alleged that due to this food scam, banks led by State Bank of India had stopped lending money to the Punjab government for further procurement.
The speakers also targeted Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh, saying he was making “shallow promises” just to get the reins of the state.
In Balachaur mandi, Kumar started the dharna at around 3:30 pm. AAP leader S P S Mrar alleged that paddy growers were being harassed in mandis. He alleged that “anti-farmer policies” of the Badal government was forcing farmers to commit suicide.
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