Chandigarh: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rebel and Patiala MP Dr Dharamvir Gandhi’s plan to build a joint ‘fourth political front’ in Punjab before the assembly elections has failed to take off. Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi has now announced to float a political party with prime focus on state’s issues and federal system of polity.
Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi held a gathering of Swaraj Party (led by professor Manjit Singh), Aam Aadmi Party’s splinter volunteers’ group form Amritsar, and Apna Punjab Party at Chandigarh on Sunday. The gathering that was named as round table conference was also attended by ruling party (SAD Badal) rebel Pargat Singh. AAP’s sacked state convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur had sent his representative to attend the round table conference. AAP dissidents Hardip Singh Kingra and Pavittar Singh, besides former SAD (B) legislator Harish Rai Thanda were present.
Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi with others
After holding the gathering AAP MP later told the media that “I would like the amalgam of these dissidents to contest the elections as a political front of the state’s own people”. He clarified that he would not contest, as he would like to remain the MP of Patiala.
A press release issued by Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi reads as follows:
Press statement and resolutions The Round Table Conference
Punjab’s reorganization on linguistic basis was botched up by various Union governments and still incomplete such that Punjab has no capital to claim as its own. It has become a headless and faceless state.
It’s only natural resource, the river waters has been taken away without compensation/ royalty while Punjab drew underground water for its own irrigation, lowering water level to dangerous depths and pushing up the costs of irrigation for Punjab farmers to the level of non-viability.
The Green revolution and the initial euphoria associated with it have melt into thin air of debt crisis for farmers and the suicides. An agrarian state like Punjab has witnessed a steep decline; and the rising unemployment has rendered the youth directionless and crestfallen; which has now taken to drugs.
The social sectors of Health and Education are pushing the rural and urban population towards pauperization.
The attempt to browbeat regional aspirations of Punjab in order to control and exploit its resources; and the Blue Star operation and reign of terror in its aftermath has left communities not only deeply divided but also grievously hurt. It has left law and order agencies plagued by demons and the populace, minorities, dalits and women highly terrified and suppressed.
The rapid urbanization has pushed the migrants internal or external into throes of pauperization and cultural degradation making lives a living hell.
The successive National governments at the Centre has surreptitiously eroded the rights of the regions and states especially Punjab and tilted the balance in favor of Union.
Shromni Akali Dal riding two boats one of religion and other of Punjabiat has found it expedient to row its boat towards the shores where it may accumulate capital for their families’ and to have a cozy relationship with powers that be, thus reneging on the future of Punjab.
The Round Table Conference is of the opinion:
Punjab’s present is grim; and future is hopeless.
We all feel that political set up has failed to protect interests of the states and it has become necessary that state central frame has to be revisited and as such to have a regional political forum.
The Round Table Conference, hence, resolves as follows:
To work for an India based on Federal principles where diversity may blossom as freely under the Sun as the Unity.
To work for resolving all outstanding issues of Punjab including that of Capital, Punjabi speaking areas, to exercise its right over its own resources especially implementation of Riparian principle and royalty for its water.
To democratize and harmonize Punjabi society through a ‘Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission’, by bringing everything and anything hidden to people of Punjab into open, bringing to justice to perpetrators of the crimes committed and let communities reconcile in the spirit of equality, fraternity and brotherhood.
To democratize and modernize Punjab by working to end all discrimination on the basis of caste and gender in the land of Gurus and Pirs to annihilate Castes and banish gender inequality.
To democratize Punjab by ridding it’s Police of criminals; and police and bureaucracy of extra constitutional political interference by putting in place a mechanism based on Supreme Court’s recommendations and people’s wishes.
To work out a mission statement for scientific and modern solutions to all outstanding economic, social and other issues like crisis of agriculture, unemployment, Drugs, Health, Education and Industry etc.
To select a Draft Committee for work on the draft of ‘Vision Document’ for finalization in a convention.
To select a fifteen member Co-ordination Committee as a preparatory committee for the convention.