AAP Punjab leaders describe Khaira as 'opportunist'
Chandigarh, Jan 6 : The Aam Aadmi Party's Punjab unit leadership on Sunday said the resignation of party legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira from party's primary membership would would only strengthen the organization.
"This was bound to happen. The party will be strengthened with the exit of opportunist leaders like Khaira," AAP Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagwant Singh, who was accompanied by leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, Core Committee chairman Budh Ram, senior leader and legislator Aman Arora and others, told media in Barnala town, around 180 km from here.
Khaira had been suspended from the AAP by party's central leadership in November last year along with another legislator Kanwar Sandhu. Their camp is all set to float a new party in Punjab.
"Khaira was sacked (as leader of Opposition) due to indiscipline. Efforts were made to make him understand, but he continued to make statements against party (AAP) leadership. He has always done politics centred around himself which is not acceptable to the party," Mann said.
"He had opposed the appointment of H.S. Phoolka as leader of Opposition and my appointment as the AAP Punjab president. It proves that his fight was only for the chair," Mann pointed out.
Describing Khaira's resignation as a "mere drama", Mann challenged Khaira to resign as legislator and seek re-election from his assembly constituency.
About AAP legislators who were still in the Khaira camp, Mann said the party's doors were always open for them.
The AAP got 20 seats in the 117-member assembly in the February 2017 assembly elections. H.S. Phoolka recently submitted his resignation as a legislator to the assembly Speaker. Phoolka also quit from the primary membership of the AAP last week.
Cheema said the AAP Punjab unit was prepared to contest the 2019 general election on its own. He said rebels had no place in the party.
Citing "dictatorial attitude" of AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal, Khaira on Sunday resigned from the party's primary membership. "I am constrained to forward my resignation from the primary membership of AAP, as the party has totally deviated from the ideology and principles on which it was formed post Anna Hazare movement," Khaira wrote in his letter to Kejriwal.
"I am saddened to state that your dictatorial attitude has shattered the dreams of Indians and the Punjabis for a clean alternative to the decayed and rotten system. As a result almost all prominent leaders of the party, beginning from Prashant Bhushan to H.S. Phoolka have either quit the party or you have thrown them out," he said.