The Hindustan Times – Arvind Kejriwal scores own-goal with apology, threat of AAP split in Punjab looms

Eighteen of 20 AAP MLAs met within hours of the apology, contemplated splitting from party and forming a ‘separate, independent’ group. The decision was deferred for want of consensus, but the threat is not over.

Navneet Sharma

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 16 March 2018. The apology tendered by Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal to former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia for his drug charges is an own-goal.

The AAP chief’s act has triggered a revolt by furious state leaders in Punjab, pushing the party into its gravest crisis hitherto. They were not only caught unawares, it was a big loss of face for them as the party had centred its campaign for the state assembly elections on this issue.

Also, Majithia, who is related to the Badals, was their ‘favourite target’ in election rallies in the run-up to assembly polls with Kejriwal leading the charge.

When 18 of the 20 MLAs met in the state assembly building within hours of the apology, they contemplated splitting from the party and forming a “separate, independent” group. A decision was deferred for want of consensus, but the threat is not over.

The state leaders, particularly AAP’s state unit president Bhagwant Mann, his deputy Aman Arora and leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira, are as much indignant over the regret expressed by Kejriwal as they are with complete lack of consultation.

But neither is this the first self-inflicted wound nor the first proof of lack of trust between the Punjab leaders and the central leadership of the party.

Before the assembly polls, Kejriwal and his strategists had tried to run the state unit through their own “trusted people”, including Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak, who were dubbed as “outsiders” by the local leaders.

When the party’s performance fell short of expectations, Khaira and others blamed them.

The newest crisis could not have come at a worse time as the AAP, which was a distant runner-up in last year’s elections, has had a poor run since.

The state unit did not have an observer for eight months following Sanjay Singh’s resignation in May 2017. Another problem has been total lack of cohesion among the leaders with competing ambitions who have been trying to outdo each other.

That Punjab unit president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, the party’s most popular Punjab face without a doubt, and leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira, its most aggressive leader, are not the best of friends is no secret.

They are on the same side now. And it showed in their showing in the subsequent byelection in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency and civic polls in four major cities.

Kejriwal made his deputy Manish Sisodia the state affairs in-charge in December last, but before he could do something things have gone from bad to worse in the only state where the party had tasted success outside Delhi.

Known for backing the underdog, Panjab is where the AAP had won all its four Lok Sabha seats – Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur and Patiala, by getting 25% of the votes polled. The parliamentary polls are due next year. And this is the state where Kejriwal faces his toughest challenge in keeping his house in order.

Deurne Gurdwara – Deurne Ruggeveldlaan

Deurne Gurdwara
25 Januari 2018

Guru Granth Sahib

Sach Khand – Guru Granth Sahib and Chaur Sahib

Sach Khand – Guru Granth Sahib and Chaur Sahib

Ladies doing sewing seva

Deurne Ruggeveldlaan
25 Januari 2018

Tram 5 to Antwerpen Linkeroever

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue – 1984 Sikh Genocide: Eyewitness Harvinder Singh Kohli Testifies Against Sajjan Kumar

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi – India, 17 March 2018. The Special Investigation Team, appointed by the Union government of India to re-probe Sikh genocide cases, on March 15 brought the key Sikh genocide perpetrator Sajjan Kumar and an eye witness Harvinder Singh Kohli face to face.

Speaking before the court, Harvinder Singh Kohli testified against Tytler and said that he is an eye witness to seeing Tytler along with mobs who killed Sikhs.

Sources have informed that Sajjan Kumar misbehaved with eye witness Harvinder Singh Kohli and tried to intimidate him but Kohli didn’t come under influence of his threats.

It is pertinent to note here that Harvinder Singh Kohli is an eyewitness of murders of his father Sohan Singh, his brother in law Avtar Singh and neighbour Gurcharan Singh by the Hindu mob led by Sajjan Kumar during Sikh genocide.

The court recorded Kohli’s statement without informing further action.

The Huffington Post – 1984 Anti-Sikh Violence Should Be Declared A Genocide: Jagmeet Singh

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks at an availability following caucus meetings in Ottawa on 25 January 2018

He said the label will help bring peace between Hindus and Sikhs.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Ottawa – Ontario – Canada, 16 March 2018. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Canada should declare that anti-Sikh violence that took place in India more than three decades ago was a genocide.

Singh, who spent much of this week defending himself following the emergence of several videos showing him appearing at various events where others promoted Sikh independence and violence, says there is clear evidence attacks on Sikhs by Hindus which followed the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 were not spontaneous, but rather organized by government.

Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards a few months after Sikh separatists who had barred themselves inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar were killed in a military assault. The Air India bombing in 1985 was carried out in reaction to the temple attack and the post-assassination violence.

India has said fewer than 3,000 people died in the attacks, but Sikh leaders sometimes put the number closer to 10,000. Singh said this week many Canadian Sikhs moved to Canada following the attacks, feeling persecuted and afraid to remain in India.

Singh believes labelling the event a genocide will help bring peace between Hindus and Sikhs.

Motion is ‘misguided’: India

He introduced a motion calling the attacks a genocide in 2016, when he was an NDP member of the Ontario legislature. That motion failed, but a very similar one brought forward by Liberal Harinder Malhi passed last year at Queen’s Park.

That motion was described by Indian media as a “body blow” to India and the Indian government called it “misguided.” Although the motion was passed in a provincial legislature, the Indian government did not distinguish between the levels of government when complaining to Canada about the motion and it was among the tensions that contributed to a troubled state visit to India by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last month.

Trudeau’s office did not respond when asked if the government would support a genocide motion.

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, said the 1984 violence was tragic and the issue is close to the hearts of many Canadians of the Sikh faith.

“We must continue to call for truth, justice and accountability for all victims,” he said in a statement. “After 34 years, we must continue to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.”

The Hindu – Yashwant Sinha led Concerned Citizens’ Group report on J&K indicts Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Special Correspondent

Srinagar, 15 March 2018. The Concerned Citizens’ Group (CCG), led by former Union Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, on Thursday said its members were disconcerted to find “the situation in Kashmir deteriorated” and “Jammu being communalised” during their latest visit to the State.

“Within the Valley, despite security forces’ successes, recruitment to the militant ranks was on the rise with even highly educated youngsters choosing to pick up the gun,” said the report, drafted by the group’s members, which include security expert Kapil Kak, journalist Bharat Bhushan and activist Sushobha Barve.

Jammu was being communalised for narrow political gains, the report said. “The rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim was being used to fan communal passions by local politicians,” it noted.

During their visit to the border areas, the group observed: “Year 2017 saw a six-fold increase in ceasefire violation compared to 2015. On the Indian side alone, over 40,000 civilians had to be evacuated in the areas near the International Border and the Line of Control.”

It said the “hopes of the Kashmiris in Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to have been dashed.”

“They had thought that he [Mr. Modi] would carry forward the initiatives of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. However, now they felt that he has brought nothing but despair and disappointment in Kashmir,” the report said.