Aam Admi Party’s Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur talks to Harpreet Bajwa about alliances for the Assembly polls, infighting, the party’s strategy and the state’s problems. Excerpts
Is this an AAP movement in Punjab?
It is inqilab in Punjab. Even without an office in Punjab and opponents using money power, AAP got 25 per cent votes in last year’s general elections and we won four Lok Sabha seats. Since then, our popularity has been growing.
What will be the party’s strategy for the 2017 Assembly elections?
The SAD-BJP government has failed on all fronts. Punjab is facing countless problems such as corruption, suicides by farmers, drug addiction, unemployment, poverty and poor industry. We will be highlighting all these issues by forming zones, circles, sectors and booths. We held 39 conferences in the state. It is ‘Punjab Bachao’ and ‘Punjab Judo’.
In 2012, large crowds were seen at People’s Party of Punjab rallies, but they got only 5 per cent votes and no seats.
It was a fight within the Badal family for power. Ours is for changing the system and weeding out corruption. People know our credentials. We will get the biggest vote share and maximum seats in the Assembly and form the government.
You hope to cleanse Punjab of drugs but the image of one of your MPs runs contrary to that.
It was a false propaganda against MP Bhagwat Mann. He offered to get dope test done.
AAP has not announced a CM candidate. Do you see yourself as the CM?
I am a loyal solider of the party. I want to bring AAP to power in the state. It is for the party high command to decide who will be the CM candidate.
Sukhbir Badal is seen as a good party micro manager. Will that affect AAP’s chances?
There is no challenge from Akali Dal. We will repeat Delhi’s victory in Punjab. We will teach Sukhbir politics and how elections are won.