Jarnail Singh and HS Phoolka: AAP’s 1984 Advantage?

The AAP has been trying to pull Congress down on the issue of 1984 riots and these two names may well serve the purpose.

The Aam Aadmi Party has pitched some of its high profile candidates against some seasoned politicians for the Lok Sabha elections in its first list. The 20 names which feature in the list are just not names; they are a symbol of AAP’s commitment to its agenda.

If we analyse the list we will find that these names have just not been dropped in the list. There must have been some brain-storming behind announcing this names. This can well play the minds of the opposition or the politicians they have been pitched against.

But two names which stand out from this cluster are the Sikh faces of the party – Jarnail Singh and HS Phoolka.

Jarnail Singh has been pitched against bigwig Mahabal Mishra from West Delhi constituency. It should be noted that Jarnail Singh is the man who hurled a shoe at the then home minister, now finance minister, P Chidambaram in 2009. While pitching him may give critics another opportunity to lambast AAP’s morality, but the party is ready to risk it all.

The west Delhi constituency has a big Sikh population and houses refugees from 1984 riots in various colonies. Singh is a known name in the constituency because of his social work and protests over the lack of relief to the 1984 riots victims.

On the other Hand, Mishra is from Congress who has once been an area councilor, thrice an MLA and is now a sitting MP from West Delhi. While the area is undoubtedly a stronghold of Mishra, there is no denying the fact that the Congress is at an all time low and this may adversely affect his position.

HS Phoolka has been pitched against I&B minister Manish Tewari from Ludhiana constituency. Phoolka is also associated with 1984 riots victims for long as he is a lawyer who has been handling cases on it. Ludhiana is his stronghold where he runs initiatives such as free coaching for engineering and medical entrances. The added advantage is that he comes from the Bahadur royal family.

Tewari has always been Congress extending support to AAP for government formation in Delhi. The party is contesting against him on the account that he never visits his constituency and has been ignorant of its development prospects. In opposition to these remarks, Tewari chose to target AAP’s naming strategy saying that it was laughable that the party had declared opposition candidates as well.

The AAP has been trying to pull Congress down on the issue of 1984 riots and these two names may well serve the purpose.

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