AAP leaders' stage collective hunger strike at Khatkar Kalan, district HQs against Kejriwal’s arrest

| | Chandigarh
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AAP leaders' stage collective hunger strike at Khatkar Kalan, district HQs against Kejriwal’s arrest

Monday, 08 April 2024 | PNS | Chandigarh

In a poignant display of resistance against what they perceive as an ‘assault on democracy’, top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday convened at Khatkar Kalan — the native town of martyr Bhagat Singh — for a day-long hunger strike. Led by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the AAP leadership stood united in solidarity to protest against the arrest of party’s national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.


The event, which unfolded at the grounds behind the Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Museum, held particular significance as it was the same venue where Mann had taken his oath as the Chief Minister of Punjab. Against a backdrop adorned with posters depicting Kejriwal behind bars, the leaders addressed the gathered crowd, echoing the spirit of resistance reminiscent of Bhagat Singh's struggle against colonial rule.


Mann minced no words in his scathing indictment of the BJP-led Central Government, drawing parallels between AAP’s current battle and Bhagat Singh’s fight for independence. He repeatedly likened the Central Government to the British, labeling them as “Kale Angrez” and lamenting the erosion of democratic values enshrined in the Constitution.


“The democracy that Bhagat Singh fought for is in danger today,” Mann declared, invoking the legacy of the martyrs to underscore the gravity of the situation. He accused the Central Government of resorting to authoritarian tactics, including raids by enforcement agencies, to stifle dissent and silence opposition voices.


Speaking passionately about Kejriwal, Mann hailed him as an epitome of honesty and sacrifice, contrasting his integrity with the entrenched corruption of traditional political parties. He asserted that AAP’s rapid ascent as a national force had rattled the political establishment, prompting desperate attempts to suppress its rise through coercive measures.


Mann’s impassioned address resonated with the assembled leaders and volunteers, who listened intently to his rallying cry for freedom and justice. AAP’s Cabinet Ministers Anmol Gagan Mann, Harbhajan Singh ETO, Gurmeet Singh Khuddian, Laljit Singh Bhullar, along with other prominent figures, lent their voices to the chorus of defiance against injustice.


As the sun set on Khatkar Kalan, the hunger strike came to a close, but the message of resistance echoed far beyond the boundaries of Punjab. AAP’s nationwide call to action reverberated across the country, inspiring ordinary citizens to join the movement for justice and accountability. In the face of adversity, AAP stood united, determined to reclaim the promise of democracy for the people of India.


Meanwhile, in a parallel protest held in various districts of Punjab, AAP volunteers and supporters gathered to express solidarity with their leaders at Khatakar Kalan. The symbolism of holding these protests in the birthplace of Bhagat Singh was not lost on the participants, who saw themselves as heirs to the legacy of the freedom fighter.


In his address to the gathering, Mann invoked the spirit of Bhagat Singh, urging the youth to emulate his courage and commitment to social justice. He warned against the erosion of democratic values and the rise of authoritarianism, drawing parallels between the current political climate and the struggles of the freedom movement.


“The country’s citizens are today haunted by fears of what will happen to the country and Constitution. Bhagat Singh fought to ensure freedom for the country and for a democracy. Baba Saheb gave you the Constitution. Democracy and the Constitution are both in danger today. These people (referring to the BJP led Central Government) have become the masters of the country who have rejected the sacrifices of the martyrs,” said Mann.


“British have gone, but ‘kale angrez’ have come in their place. They began to loot people, then beat people and have started to snub the voice of the opposition through the lures and fear of the raids from ED, CBI, Income tax department, CBI, NIA. Bhagat Singh's soul must be tormented…This is what he gave his life for?” said Mann in an impassioned address.


He added, “Arvind Kejriwal is an honest man who left high office and status for the country of the martyrs’ dreams…Congress and BJP took decades to find electoral footing. But, they are fearful of the kind of popularity AAP has gained becoming a national party in mere 10 years. It scares them. They have devised such ways…they raid, jail and silence regional leaders.”


“Unlike martyrs, you don't have to use a disguise, bomb or pistol to attain independence. You just have to press the button of ‘jhadoo’ to bring kranti (revolution). This is a very easy way of gaining freedom. We (AAP) are fighting for freedom only. Though, now they are trying to obstruct this too,” said Mann.


Mann, also taking aim at the leaders who left AAP, said: “Those who had to go, have left, but they have no stand. AAP needs ordinary faces who love Punjab, not big names.”



Jakhar Slams AAP’s Hunger Strike at Khatkar Kalan: ‘Mann Insulted Martyr’s Legacy’; AAP Hits Back

Chandigarh: Punjab BJP president Sunil Jakhar on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, denouncing AAP’s hunger strike at Khatkar Kalan as a “political farce” and an insult to the legacy of Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh.


Jakhar accused Mann of shamelessly exploiting the revered martyr’s birthplace to defend Arvind Kejriwal, embroiled in a liquor scandal.


Mincing no words, Jakhar labeled the “orchestrated” spectacle by Mann as despicable and condemning it unequivocally. He warned Mann that Punjabis would not tolerate such blatant disrespect towards Bhagat Singh’s legacy and cautioned against playing with the sentiments of the people for political gains.


Highlighting AAP’s alleged involvement in liquor scams in Delhi and Punjab, Jakhar accused the party of colluding in corruption and using cheap political theatrics to deflect attention from their misdeeds. He blasted Mann for prioritizing political stunts over addressing critical issues like the deteriorating law and order situation, citing the recent violence in Tarn Taran as a glaring example of government apathy.


In response, AAP hit back, labeling Jakhar as “anti-Punjab” and “pro-BJP”. AAP spokesperson Vikramjit Singh Passi accused Jakhar of betraying Punjab by aligning with the BJP and defending dictatorship instead of advocating for the state's interests.


Passi dismissed Jakhar's criticism as baseless and urged him to prioritize Punjab's welfare over serving the BJP's agenda. He lauded CM Mann's leadership, highlighting his efforts to safeguard Punjab's rights and interests in the face of central government encroachment.

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