The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) probably has the highest percentage of journalists in its core team among all major political parties in India. For Punjab elections, a state known for its Farmers (Kisans) and Army person (Jawans), the party selected as many as 4 journalists (14% of total) and no military person in its third list of 29 candidates
The four Journalist-candidates are Kanwar Sandhu (Kharar),Kulwant Singh Pandori (Mehal Kalan), Manjit Singh Bilaspur (Nihal Singh Wala) and Vinod Kumar (Bhoa)
Even worse, there’s only one Kisan Sulkhan Singh Jaggi (Mukerian) in the list, though more than 60% of Punjab population is into agriculture. There are less than 0.01% Punjabis into journalism. Funnily, Comedians (with Gurpreet Ghuggi and Bhagwant Mann leading the state unit) have more say in Punjab AAP team than Kisans and Service-men.
AAP at the central level too is dominated by the media persons even though some of them have resigned or thrown out since its formation. Some of top media personnel within AAP are Ashutosh Kumar, Yogendra Yadav (Resigned), Ashish Khetan, Saba Naqvi, Shazia Ilmi (resigned).
Ashutosh Kumar, Journalist into AAP
There are many other journalists (like Rana Ayyub (Tehelka), Ravish Kumar (NDTV) and Hartosh Singh Bal) who have not yet joined AAP but are overtly favourable to Arvind Kejriwal. The presence of these ’embedded’ journalists helps AAP get disproportionate media exposure. Even though Delhi is a small quasi-state, Kejriwal gets way more airtime than even Jayalalitha, Mamata and Akhlesh Yadav – CMs of much bigger states.
In Delhi, AAP had appointed as many as 25 journalists on the governing bodies of colleges
funded by the government affiliated to the Delhi University. They achieved this by dissolving the governing bodies despite opposition from the university and hundreds of non-permanent teachers. Apparently, most of them were working journalists, many of whom report and write favourably about AAP.
AAP has often been accused of insulting Indian Army and supporting Pakistani position during the discussion on the recent Surgical Strike.
Does Arvind Kejriwal really care for Punjab or it’s just a political game AAP is playing to the detriment of state citizens.