Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Firebrand Congress leader joins AAP: The Hindu

Former MLA Kalpana Parulekar, who had accused former chief minister Digvijaya Singh of fielding a rebel against her in the Assembly polls, joined the Aam Aadmi Party in Bhopal on Tuesday.
“Congress and BJP joining hands to block the (Delhi) Lokpal Bill (in February) was more shameful than Emergency. I congratulated (former Delhi CM) Arvind Kejriwal the day he resigned. I was feeling stifled in the Congress, which has sold out its ideals and I am totally satisfied with the renowned candidates chosen by AAP,” she said.
Ms. Parulekar expressed resentment at the Congress’ within and outside and Vidhan Sabha. “Dilip Suryavanshi had the audacity to level charges on (former minister) Ajay Singh and (former state Congress chief) Kantilal Bhuria. If I was the president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, I would have set fire to Dilip’s house,” she added.
Construction and mining baron Suryavanshi is a regular visitor at the CM’s residence and is under the scanner of the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation. Ms. Parulekar alleged that the Congress was not able to oppose the BJP as it has leaders such as Digvijaya Singh who were involved in land scams.
Targeting Mr. Singh, she said, “How can I respect a party where a former CM runs away from the electoral battleground by getting himself elected to the Rajya Sabha? He takes his son (Raghogarh MLA Jaivardhan Singh) around the secretariat and only focuses on getting relief for farmers in his home constituency of Rajgarh.”
In 2003, Ms. Parulekar had left the Congress to join the NCP. She unsuccessfully contested both assembly and Lok Sabha polls before returning to the Congress on whose ticket she was elected MLA from Mahidpur in Ujjain in 2008. Last year, she lost her deposit from the seat and Congress rebel Dinesh Jain came second to BJP’s Bahadursingh Chouhan. Between 1998 and 2013 when Mr. Singh was CM, Ms. Parulekar remained a vocal opponent of alleged corruption in his government even though she was a Congress MLA.
Ms. Parulekar, who faces charges of doctoring an image of Lokayukt PP Naolekar in a uniform of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, added that she would campaign for the AAP wherever they ask her to. Her priority, she told The Hindu, was to get farmers their rights.
“Insurance, for which premiums are collected twice a year from peasants, has not been paid. In the last five years, Mahidpur is the only place in Malwa where farmers got crop insurance amounting to Rs. 24 crore. I lost the polls as I do not indulge in the politics of 500 rupee notes and liquor like (Ujjain MP) Premchand Guddu and others. Farmers don’t want Shivraj’s alms of monsoon relief, we want insurance payments which is our right,” she said.
Keywords: Kalpana ParulekarCongressAAPLok Sabha elections 2014

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