Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday announced that the party would initiate Punjab dialogue under the banner “Bolda Punjab” on April 23 with various segments of the society to formulate a policy and shape its manifesto for the forthcoming assembly polls slated for 2017.
Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh on Wednesday, National Spokesman and in charge Punjab party affairs Sanjay Singh said ‘time has come to inform the people of Punjab the kind of program and model the party wanted to give to the state for its inclusive and holistic development in the next five years once it came to power’.
“What kind of solutions the party could offer to people of Punjab for elimination of drugs, to resolve the unemployment problem in the youth and how the spate of suicides could be stopped among the farmers. These issues would be discussed at length with the people as well as with the experts during the Punjab dialogue”, said Sanjay Singh while revealing senior journalist, Kanwar Sandhu who held top positions in national and regional newspapers and news channels would head the Manifesto Committee to initiate the Punjab dialogue with various sections of the society.
Giving details Sandhu said the manifesto committee headed by him would reach out to 10 different segments of the society in the days to come to learn about their problems and hardships they have been facing in Punjab under various governments.
“These segments include farmers, youth, women, industrialists, traders, ex- servicemen, labourers, professionals, NRIs and government employees. Later the committee would also reach to more segments to learn about their problems as well”, added Sandhu.
To begin with the committee would initiate its first interaction with the youth on April 23 from Mohali. Similar interactions with the youth will also be held in other towns of Punjab which would continue till May 30.
“The party will release the youth manifesto by first week of June and we will try to have AAP’s national convener & Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to do the honours”, informed Sandhu.
Sandhu said in order to have the interactions in a free, fair and transparent manner he would want people from all walks of life to come and actively participate in the dialogue. This would help the party prepare a document by the people of the people and for the people.
Sandhu disclosed that AAP has also identified issues to be discussed during the interactions which include spate of suicides being committed by farmers, widespread menace of drugs and narcotics, unemployment of the educated youth, corruption in public offices, deteriorating state of health and education, rule of mafia in the sand, land, liquor, drugs, transport and cable network business, rising crime against women, growing atrocities against Dalits and housing woes.
Speaking on the occasion senior AAP, leader Ashish Khetan said ‘for AAP manifesto is a sacred document like a religious scripture’. “We will do our best to implement each and every promise we make in the manifesto the way we have done in Delhi”, said Khetan.
Others members of the manifesto committee include senior AAP leader Ashish Khetan, who is also vice chairman of Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), senior journalist, Chander Suta Dogra, who has covered northern India for more than two decades with prominent national publications.
Dr. Sarika Verma, senior ENT surgeon in Mohali, Gagandeep Singh Chadha, who previously worked as financial investment advisor and education consultant. Gurinder Singh Birring, MBA from Oxford university, Raghu Mahajan, Ph.D candidate at Stanford university, Masters degree from Cambridge university and Mohammad Ovais, B.Tech in Electronics & Communication.
The manifesto committee will also have special invitees such as Sangrur MP, Bhagwant Mann, Faridkot MP, Prof. Sadhu Singh, Punjab Kisan Wing head, GS Kang, Legal cell head, Himmat Singh Shergill, Punjab women wing chief, Prof. Baljinder Kaur, Intellectual cell head, RR Bhardwaj and Youth wing head, Harjot Singh Bains.
Others who were present on the occasion included Punjab convener, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Sangrur, MP, Bhagwant Mann, senior leader Gurpreet Ghuggi, senior leaders, CD Kamboj, Yamini Gomar and HS Kingra.
AAP on SYL
AAP National spokesman and in charge Punjab Party Affairs Sanjay Singh on Wednesday reiterated in response to a question raised by the media on SYL issue that the party has always been supporting the cause of Punjab and would continue to do so in future. “I will say it one thousand times that AAP is completely against the construction of SYL as Punjab has no water to spare”.
“Congress was the architect of SYL by laying its foundation stone. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was instrumental in its construction. Both congress and SAD are deliberately blaming AAP for the SYL only to deflect attention of the people and are not serious to resolve the issue for once and for all. Though AAP has never been in the picture on the SYL issue, but AAP will never let these two political parties play petty politics on Punjab river waters and would continue to safeguard Punjab’s interest”, said Sanjay Singh.