By UJWAL JALALI
New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The Aam Aadmi Party, claim partymen, is a party with a difference. But since it swept the 2022 Punjab polls by winning over 90 seats in the 117-seat Assembly and for the first time expanded its political footprint beyond Delhi, Opposition members allege that they are being targeted by the Punjab Police on the directions of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal always demanded that Delhi be made into a state and not a Union Territory. One of the prime reasons for this has been that the police in the national capital does not come under the CM, rather it is answerable to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Now since the party has won Punjab state with a brute majority, it is allegedly employing the age-old tactics to counter its rivals in Delhi, political pundits say. The Punjab Police which comes under Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, is these days, booking Kejriwal’s rivals.
The latest action was against Congress leader Alka Lamba, who was on Wednesday summoned by the Punjab Police’s Special Investigation Team, Rupnagar, over a statement that she had made against Kejriwal before the Punjab Assembly polls, held earlier this year.
In a tweet, Lamba said that the Punjab Police has pasted a notice on the wall of her house in Delhi and while the cops were leaving they allegedly threatened her with dire consequences if she does not appear before the police on April 26.
The notice read, “During the investigation it is revealed that there are reasonable grounds to question you to ascertain facts and circumstances from you. Hence you are summoned before the Special Investigation Team at 10.00 a.m. on or before April 26 at Police Station Sadar Roopnagar for the purpose of investigation.”
Before Lamba, on the same day, a team of the Punjab Police visited former AAP leader Kumar Vishwas’ residence in Ghaziabad.
Taking to Twitter, Vishwas served a warning to Punjab Chief Minister Baghwant Mann, saying: “Punjab police team was at my doorsteps early morning. I am cautioning Bhagwant Mann, whom I inducted into the party myself, that the person sitting in Delhi will betray both you and Punjab one day. The country should remember my warning.”
Reportedly, Punjab Police have booked the former AAP leader under Sections 153, 153-A, 505, 502, 116, 143, 147, 323 and 341 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 125 of the Representation of People Act over one of his statements made in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Punjab, in which Vishwas, without naming him, had said that Arvind Kejriwal wants to be the Prime Minister of an independent nation of Khalistan, accusing the AAP convenor of having connections with separatists in Punjab.
Earlier on April 9, Delhi BJP spokesperson Naveen Jindal had claimed that Punjab Police personnel conducted a raid at his Delhi residence to arrest him in a case that was registered against him for allegedly tweeting a ‘doctored video’ of Kejriwal.
On April 6, the BJP spokesperson had tweeted a video with the caption ‘Eventually their truth came out’, in which Kejriwal was allegedly heard talkling about top government functionaries taking money.
Subsequently, an FIR was registered against Jindal on April 7 at the SAS Nagar police station in Punjab.
Jindal, while speaking to IANS, said that he was not present in the house when four Punjab Police personnel landed at his residence in Delhi.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta has defended his partyman and accused Kejriwal of misusing the Punjab Police by sending them to the houses of those who exposed him and spoke against him.
He said the Punjab Police are after the BJP workers because they exposed the corruption of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, exposed the construction of Haj House in Dwarka, negligence during the Covid pandemic and exposed the Rs 20 crore swimming pool being built at Kejriwal’s house.
By UJWAL JALALI