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Sucha Singh Chhotepur's ouster from AAP is major jolt to party lovers
Sucha Singh popularly known as Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who was Aam Aadmi Party's most visible face in Punjab till now, has been trapped in a controversy that was hatched by his own friends in AAP. Sucha Singh found himself in an uncomfortable situation after the surfacing of a video in which he was seen accepting money from a party volunteer.

Contesting of elections, Now a days, contesting an election is not an easy task without sufficient fund that is needed for advertisement, organizing rallies, protests, meetings etc. 

Chhotepur accepted that he had received money, but insisted that it was meant for the party fund. Whatever has happened in Chhotepur's case, could happen in any other party. 

However, a letter by 21 AAP leaders from Punjab to Arvind Kejriwal demanding Chhotepur's immediate sacking from the party, clearly speaks that something was going wrong within the party which Chhotepur could not smell possibly due to the blind faith on his followers.

The people of Punjab as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which won 4 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab during the last Lok Sabha polls, have high expectations from 2017 Punjab polls.

Chhotepur is now likely to face a disciplinary committee of the party, comprising Delhi lawmaker Jarnail Singh and former Punjab bureaucrat and AAP leader Jasbir Singh Bir to clarify his stand against allegations of corruption. 

But with the sacking of Chhotepur from the post of AAP's Punjab Convener, for his alleged involvement in corruption, the political scenario has altogether changed in Punjab and political analysts have started working on fresh guesswork about the next move and change.

In fact, Chhotepur has been known as a leader with independent views during his long career in Akali Dal, the Congres and AAP, with a streak of activism, but he became more popular after joining the Aam Aadmi Party at a time when the wave against the Akali-BJP alliance has cropped up in the State.

If Sucha Singh Chhotepur's move to join AAP, despite holding the post of Punjab's  Tourism Minister and Member of Legislative Assembly as an independent member, is read while linking it with the resignation of Punjab's Youth Akali Dal General Secretary Jagjeet Singh from Samana along with his supporters, then it speaks a lot about the habit of Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, that he only listens to the Halqa Incharges (HI), even if they  are wrong, instead of the workers who are sincere. 

HIs are later on used to be called as Chhota Ministers and are considered for party ticket by the Akali Dal on priority above all.

Either Arivind Kejriwal had not been briefed about the background of Chhotepur by the senior party leaders or in-depth and minute study of events in the past about Chhotepur had not been done, putting the AAP in a very awkward situation.

The ouster of AAP's active members - Dharamvir Gandhi and Yogendra Yadav - has also tarnished the image of the party and the public attention has shifted from the original issue of forming the next government in Punjab to the controversy and visible fissure among AAP members.

I recall a 'Quotable Board' hanging in the office of one of the senior officers of the government which read as - "There are two rules. One - Boss is always right. Two - if the Boss is wrong, see rule number one."

And perhaps, Chhotepur forget that in 'political army' too, the Commander is boss and in his case Arvind Kejriwal was in that role. Criticizing Kejriwal openly after the release of candidates' list selected for contesting elections in Punjab, has conceivably irritated the AAP supremo and this is the reason that a section of supporters of Chhotepur's supporters has come up with this pre-planned controversy. 

One of the prominent Punjabi writers - Gurtej Koharwala has rightly composed a couplet which suits AAP very well - "Akhoti Rehbran Kolon, Asi Hun Sedh Na Leni, Asadi Rah Dasera Jad, Sarabhe Di Shahadat Hai/Hamesha Tadh Ke Rakho, Te Sanu Padh Ke Rakho, Puavadhe Paun Di Kini, Hakumat Nu Muharat Hai" (In case we have not taken advance guidance from the preceptors now, when our path showing icon is the sacrifice of Kartar Singh Sarabha. Always keep an intent look and keep them divided and how much expertise the rulers have).

Defensive measure is the basic and major qualification for the politicians, which everyone has to learn and Chhotepur has rightly used it by giving a statement flanked by five of the 12 Parliamentary Zone Coordinators of the party in Punjab that "AAP has no faith in Punjabis, and its leaders have no knowledge of Sikh traditions."

Rebuttal by MP Bhagwant Mann that Chhotepur is trying to lend a 'communal colour' to the controversy and is resorting to such cheap gimmicks to defend his corrupt act, give the impression of him being too learned of the art of poly-tricks in politics.

Mann should not forget the quote of the Socrates, "To understand the question intelligently is equal to understand the half of the reply". Mann should not forget the statement of Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi that "if Chhotepur is guilty; so is the entire AAP leadership and the sting operation was done intentionally, which is a design to defame him before expelling him from the party".

It means that Chhotepur is going to fight a long battle for which the AAP should prepare itself.

Not only Sucha Singh Chhotepur has lost his image after the surfacing of the sting operation, but the popularity graph of AAP too has gone down. Not only this, the people of the State have started referring him as Khhotepur, insincere, impure, debased and disloyal, which is not a healthy sign for the party when the assembly elections are likely to be announced at any time as per the indication of the Election Commission of India.

It is always difficult to predict the futuristic line of development in politics, but Chhotepur's ouster is certainly a major jolt to AAP lovers, who have aggressively multiplied in number after the party won 4 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. Though two of its four MPs were suspended for their anti-party activities, AAP gained huge response in Punjab disturbing the day dreaming of ruling alliance and the party in opposition as well.

It could now be digestible if one says that the AAP may meet the same fate as of the former SAD Minister Manpreet Singh Badal's People's Party of Punjab (PPP) in Assembly polls 2012, which failed to win a single seat out of total 117 assembly seats in Punjab, and in the end helped the SAD-BJP to win the polls consecutively.

Whatever may be the outcome, regardless of giving a chance to Chhotepur to explain his stand to the party leadership on referring of his case to two-member committee, it is crystal clear that Khhotepur - impure, has been tagged with his name, which will not only spoil his and party's representation but definitely going in favour of other political parties, during the upcoming Assembly elections.

Finally, I would say that there is hardly any word - Conspiracy, Jolt, Disorder, Controversy, Turmoil, Tug-of-War, - which has not been used by the media in reporting Chhotepur's episode, which has dimmed its sheet, the party lovers are still hopeful that AAP will show positive results in 2017 Assembly Polls but it all still depends upon the two long-established rivals - SAD-BJP and Congress - who can take advantage of the situation by opening the third card of 'flash game'.

Over to 'Flash Game'.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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