Chandigarh, March 6: After a string of electoral setbacks in recent months, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday decided to reconstitute its frontal wings and sideline “non-performers” in Punjab to put the party back on track in the state.
The decision to reconstitute frontal wings for kisan-khet mazdoor, women, youth, etc and give more responsibility to performers was taken at a meeting held by AAP’s new Punjab affairs in-charge Manish Sisodia with top leaders of the state unit at his residence in Delhi.
Punjab unit president Bhagwant Mann, co-president Aman Arora, leader of opposition in the state assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira, MLAs Kanwar Sandhu and Kultar Singh Sandhwan and five zonal presidents in the state attended the meeting.
Sisodia also asked the state leaders, who seem to lack cohesion, to streamline the party’s working and proactively play the role of the principal opposition party. “There was a discussion on strengthening the party structure and strategy for the forthcoming budget session. We will give responsibility and prominence to those who are working hard for the party,” Bhagwant Mann said after the meeting.
The AAP leadership had appointed Sisodia, who is deputy chief minister in the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi, as the Punjab in-charge on December 19. The party was without a central observer for eight months following Sanjay Singh’s resignation after the state assembly results.
Though Sisodia had a one-to-one interaction with some MLAs for feedback during his Jalandhar visit two weeks ago, Monday’s meeting was his first formal interaction with prominent state leaders since he took over as the state in-charge.
Another leader, who was present at the meeting, said the defeats in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha byelection and civic polls in Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar and Jalandhar also came up for discussion and the state leadership was asked to work in tandem and take steps to reverse the trend. The party will face another electoral contest shortly in the Shahkot assembly byelection in Jalandhar which fell vacant due to the demise of five-time Akali MLA Ajit Singh Kohar.
The AAP, which burst on to the political scene in Punjab by winning four of the 13 seats in the 2014 parliamentary polls with 25% of the votes polled, is fast losing ground due to lack of direction and internal bickerings. Its big test will be in the Lok Sabha elections due early next year. While two of its four MPs were suspended for “anti-party activities”, four of the remaining candidates are also not in the party now. However, Mann said there was no discussion on LS candidates in the meeting.
Source Hindustan Times