JALANDHAR WEST BY-POLL | Gearing up, Punjab CM declares no room for divisions in AAP, focus on people-centric governance

  • | Monday | 24th June, 2024

In a crucial move ahead of the Jalandhar West by-election, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday convened a strategic meeting with key Ministers and legislators to fine-tune the partys campaign strategy, underscoring the significance of the by-election while seeking to dispel the rumours of internal discord within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).   The meeting saw the attendance of several prominent figures, including State Ministers, MLAs, and senior leaders. Among the notable attendees were MPs Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer and Malwinder Singh Kang; Cabinet Ministers Kuldeep Singh Dhariwal, and Dr Baljit Kaur, Punjab Mandi Board chairman Harchand Singh Barsat, among others. The gathering emphasized AAPs united front and its mission to communicate the governments achievements directly to the people.   Chief Minister Mann stressed the importance of the Jalandhar West by-election, unveiling a targeted campaign named Jalandhar West Mission. This initiative aimed at consolidating the partys efforts and ensuring that AAPs message resonates with the electorate. The Chief Minister reiterated the necessity for leaders to engage with constituents on pressing issues, advocating a door-to-door approach to highlight the partys accomplishments over the past two years.   Jalandhar West is crucial for us, said Mann, adding, Our government has worked tirelessly to benefit the people of Punjab, and we need to ensure that these efforts are recognized by the voters.   At the same time, he claimed that the AAP will have 95 MLAs in the 117-member Punjab Vidhan Sabha by the end of the year — indicating at the four impending byelections, including three seats represented by the Congress.   AAP candidate for the by-election, Mohinder Bhagat, was lauded by Mann for his impeccable reputation and longstanding service to the community. Mann expressed confidence that Bhagats clean image and dedication would resonate well with the voters. Mohinder Bhagat and his family have a strong bond with the people of Jalandhar, Mann stated, adding, Their work over the years speaks volumes, and we are optimistic about his prospects in the by-election.   Notably, the bypoll was necessitated after former AAP MLA Sheetal Angural left the party to join the BJP. Angural is currently the BJP candidate for the bypoll, while AAP has fielded the former BJP leader Bhagat. Interestingly, both Bhagat and Angural were also contenders in the 2022 state assembly elections. At that time, Bhagat was the BJP candidate, and Angural represented AAP. But this time, the roles have reversed.   Congress, on the other hand, nominated 63-year-old Surinder Kaur — a former Senior Deputy Mayor and five-time councillor from Jallowal Abadi. SAD has also chosen a two-time councilor Surjit Kaur, widow of a former councilor Jathedar Pritam Singh — making it a fight between grassroot workers and turncoats. Voting for the by-election on this seat is to be held on July 10. And AAP is aiming to win this seat again.   In response to speculation about internal party conflicts, Mann categorically denied any rifts within AAP. There are no differences within our leadership or among our workers. Such rumours are baseless and aim to create unnecessary distractions, he asserted. Mann urged the public to disregard such misinformation and focus on the positive changes brought about by the AAP government.   Mann announced his direct oversight of the campaign, ensuring a cohesive and well-coordinated effort. He encouraged the party members to work diligently at the grassroots level, engaging with the voters and addressing their concerns. I will personally monitor the campaign to make sure our message reaches every corner of Jalandhar West, declared Mann, who has rented a house in Jalandhar ahead of the bypoll.   Mann expressed confidence in securing a decisive win for AAP. He emphasized that the support of the people is a testament to the governments effective governance and people-centric policies. We are committed to making Punjab a vibrant and prosperous state. Winning Jalandhar West will be a step forward in this journey, he said.   The Chief Minister called on all party workers to stay united and focused on this goal, ensuring that their efforts translate into meaningful progress for the region. Our aim is to make Punjab a Rangla Punjab again – a vibrant and flourishing state, Mann declared.   Highlighting the importance of voter education and engagement, Mann urged the party leaders and volunteers to not only campaign but also educate voters about their rights and the electoral process. By doing so, Mann believed that the electorate will be better informed and more likely to make choices that reflect their true interests.   As the campaign for the Jalandhar West by-election intensifies, AAPs focus remains on transparent communication, community engagement, and a steadfast commitment to the welfare of Punjabs citizens. The upcoming by-election is not just a test of electoral strength but a reaffirmation of the partys vision for a better Punjab.   AAPs 10-point manifesto is old wine in new bottle: Bajwa Chandigarh: Terming AAPs 10-point manifesto for Jalandhar West assembly by-polls as a repackaging of old wine in new bottles, the Leader of Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday said that the manifesto proved the ruling partys failure to fulfill its promises.   AAP made the same guarantees during the 2022 assembly elections. They promised to make Punjab drug-free within three months and pledged Rs 1,000 per month to women over 18. Everyone in the State knows what happened to these promises, Bajwa said.   Senior Congress leader Bajwa noted that despite ruling the State for 2.5 years with a majority, AAP couldnt fulfill its promises. Drug overdose deaths have surged since AAP took power, and women are still waiting for their promised monthly benefits. AAP MLA and MP from the same constituency resigned and joined BJP, leading to this by-poll. Why should the public suffer due to AAP leaders shenanigans? Bajwa questioned.   He added that Punjab CM claimed 10,000 cops were transferred to break the police-drug peddler nexus, which the DGP denied. Meanwhile, AAP MP Malvinder Kang blamed bureaucracy for the partys recent Lok Sabha defeat. Bajwa concluded that despite a majority, AAP is unable to govern effectively, leading to administrative chaos and lawlessness in Punjab.  

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