Barnala, Jan 20 (PTI) Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday hit out at those who recently left the party, calling them “opportunists” who were greedy for posts and tickets.
Kejriwal, who launched his party’s campaign for upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Punjab by addressing a rally here, also attacked the Congress-led state government and said it had “betrayed” people as it failed to deliver on its poll promises.
Senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and the entire state unit leadership, including Harpal Cheema and Aman Arora, also attended the rally.
“Some people left AAP few days back. Our political opponents started saying AAP has begun to disintegrate. Nobody in the country has the courage to disintegrate the party,” he said.
“Congress, Akali Dal and BJP have tried their best in the last five years to weaken the party but God has been with us,” the AAP national convenor said.
“Those who have left AAP were not worthy of staying in the party. They were opportunists and were greedy for tickets and posts. They tried to break the party. God wielded the broom and all bad persons are now out,” Kejriwal said.
Two rebel AAP leaders from Punjab — Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Jaitu MLA Baldev Singh, besides senior lawyer H S Phoolka, have quit the party this month. Khaira was suspended from the party in November last for indulging in “anti-party activities”.
Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre of creating hurdles in development works in the national capital and trying to kill him.
“The Modi government tried to not allow us to run the government in Delhi. We want to build hospitals, schools but they continued to create hindrance in our efforts. But we fought them and did good work,” he said.
“I have been attacked four times in last two years. Have you ever heard of any chief minister being attacked? They conspired to kill me,” he claimed.
Training his guns at Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Kejriwal said the former had not honoured any of the pre-poll promises, including those of farm loan waiver, raising pension and distributing smart phones.
“Two years ago, you ensured the victory of Captain sahib (Amarinder Singh) with a huge majority. They had filled forms for giving you jobs. I want to ask you to raise your hands if anybody here has been given a job yet. Not even a single job has been given by the state government,” the AAP leader said.
“Two years have passed. Captain betrayed people,” Kejriwal said.
The Delhi chief minister also accused the Punjab government of ignoring the Dalit community, backward classes and poor.
Alleging that Singh’s government was handing over the functioning of all government hospitals and schools to private entities, Kejriwal asked, “How can he be called the chief minister when the governance is going into the hands of private people?”
He claimed his government in Delhi had “transformed” the condition of government schools, enabling children belonging to Dalit, Schedule Caste and Backward Class communities to avail quality education.
“Last year, Dalit children secured over 90 per cent marks,” he said.
Similarly, the condition of government hospitals has been improved, where medicines are given and tests conducted free of cost, the Delhi chief minister said.
“We have now planned that Delhi government would bear the expenditure of private coaching for children of Dalit community,” Kejriwal said.
He also reminded people that his party made Harpal Cheema and Budh Ram, both Dalits, leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly and chairman of the party’s core committee, respectively.
Kejriwal appealed to people to vote for AAP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“You have seen SAD and Congress. Last time, there was a miss (in AAP forming the government in Punjab). People tell me how it had happened. AAP was to win at least 100 seats, but Congress and Akali Dal conspired against us,” he said.
“Friends, do not make any mistake this time. Ensure (AAP’s) victory on all 13 Lok Sabha seats under the leadership of Bhagwant Mann,” Kejriwal said.
He said Mann was the only MP to raise Punjab’s issues in Parliament.
“If need arises, Parliament will be disrupted for the sake of Punjab and we will ensure justice for you,” he said.