Ludhiana, September 8: In what could spell more trouble for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state of Punjab, former member who was the convenor of the party’s Ferozepur Unit Amandeep Kaur has leveled allegations of sexual exploitation against the party. Kaur has claimed that as many as 52 women workers were sexually assaulted by party leaders in Delhi. This comes on the day that Delhi Chief Minister and party chief Arvind Kejriwal was mobbed at Delhi and then Ludhiana railway stations, in protest to the Sandeep Kumar sex scandal. The women who attacked Kejriwal belong to the opposition BJP, Congress and Akali Dal.
The women demanded that Arvind Kejriwal sack Ashutosh, who had defended Kumar in an editorial that he wrote for the website of a popular national news channel. Kaur’s claims might add fuel to the fire that is already burning, threatening to cause some serious burns to the party in the upcoming elections in 2017. Making startling claims, Kaur said, “AAP came to power on the issue of women’s safety in the aftermath of the 2016 Delhi-gang rape case and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had made tall promises to provide security to women. However, the reality is that women are not safe within the party.” ALSO READ: Anna Hazare takes Arvind Kejriwal to task; says AAP formation biggest mistake
Kaur added by saying that even she was abused by the party members and that no action was taken by the management, even after she registered her complaints. “During a state-level meeting, I was abused too and foul language was used against me. I apprised Delhi Dy CM Manish Sisodia and senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh about the incident, and even staged a dharna outside Kejriwal’s place, but all resulted in vain.” According to India TV, Kaur said that she had written a letter to the party bigwigs expressing concerns about the conduct of the male members of the party, but no action was taken.
However, this is not the first time that Kaur has attacked the party for its supposed objectionable behavior towards women. Earlier, she had alleged that she was bullied by the male members of AAP, who uploaded her fake photographs to defame her on social media. Meanwhile, the claims have already caught the attention of the Punjab State Women Commission. Commission Chairperson Paramjit Kaur Landran said, “We have taken suo motu cognisance of the reports appearing in print and electronic media about the ‘exploitation of women’ in return of tickets. And we have asked DGP Punjab Police to investigate the matter and submit the report to the Commission.”
Kaur is not the only one who has raised the issue of the exploitation of women by party leaders in return for election tickets. Last week, AAP MLA from Bijwasan Devendra Sehrawat had shot a letter to Arvind Kejriwal highlighting alleged “exploitation of women” by a few party men, who were using party tickets as a ruse to indulge into objectionable activities. Sehrawat had named a few AAP leaders in his letter, including the Delhi unit’s convener Dilip Pandey, accusing him of questionable conduct. The allegations were rubbished by the party, which dared Sehrawat to come up with the proof substantiating his charges. ALSO READ: AAP leaders exploiting women in Delhi, asking money for tickets in Punjab: MLA writes to Arvind Kejriwal
Senior AAP leader and party’s Punjab unit in-charge Sanjay Singh, at a press conference had hit out at Sehrawat, saying that his claims were all baseless. He had also said that the leaders against whom he has leveled the charges were likely to sue him for his defamatory remarks. No action has been taken against him, as of yet, however, on the instruction of Kejriwal. The Delhi CM, who is aggressively campaigning in Punjab, has said that the party leadership will take action against defaulters, only after the Assembly elections are over. Sehrawat, for his part, had demanded that strict action be taken against those responsible, as soon as Kejriwal returns from his visit to the Vatican for the canonization of Mother Teresa.
Just last week, Delhi child welfare and social welfare minister Sandeep Kumar was embroiled in the controversy, when a nine-minute long sex tape of him with a woman was released to the media. Kejriwal sacked Kumar, immediately issuing a statement denouncing Kumar and his actions, and promising tough punishment for him. The woman later filed a complaint against Kumar, saying that she was raped by him at his office-cum-residence in Sultanpuri area. The woman alleged that she had gone to get her ration card made, but was sexually assaulted by Kumar. She said that she was offered a spiked cold drink by Kumar, following which she did not know what she was doing, neither could she recall was happened to her.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal’s former aide and the founder of the India Against Corruption campaign Anna Hazare also attacked Kejriwal, after his Sandeep Kumar, was accused of rape. On Thursday, the social crusader went as far as to say that he was launch a stir against Kejriwal if he got concrete evidence of wrong doings on the part of his Cabinet Ministers. He said that while he did not doubt Kejriwal’s character, he felt that the latter was being harmed by his Ministers’ actions. Hazare’s concerns might have point, especially with the elections coming up. If Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party leadership does not fix the debacle and take redressal measures, it can seriously harm the party’s prospects in the elections.