Punjab Politics

Crisis grips AAP in Punjab, Sukhpal Khaira resigns from party

January 06, 2019 05:35 PM

CHANDIGARH: Political crisis grips Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) in Punjab after rebel party MLA from Bholath and former leader of opposition Sukhpal SBingh today resigned from the primary membership of the party alleging that AAP has deviated from the ideology and principles on which it was formed post Anna Hazare movement.

Khaira who was suspended from party has not yet resigned from his assembly seat. The party may take a call to get the seat vacated under anti-defection law. Few more MLA's prominently Khara MLA Kanwar Sandhu who was suspended along with Khaira may also resign from the party. The party which has 20 MLAs in the 117 member house may lose its post of Leader of Opposition. AAP is followed by Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) with 14 seats in hand.

Khaira is second MLA to jump out of band wagon of Arvind Kejriwal after H.S.Phoolka senior Supreme Court lawyer and MLA from Dakha in Ludhiana district. Phoolka who had earlier resigned from his seat had submitted his resignation from primary membership of party last week.

Phoolka has stated that converting Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement into political party was a wrong step. Phoolka had joined the party in 2014 and unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha election in 2014 from Ludhiana before being elected for Vidhan Sabha from Dakha in 2017. He had resigned from his seat in November last and his resignation is still pending with the speaker of Vidhan Sabha. Phoolka is keen to form a NGO to fight for justice to common people.

Khaira who joined AAP few months before 2017 assembly elections in Punjab was hopeful of party projecting him as candidate for Chief Minister's post. However alter defeat of party, he was made leader of opposition. He turned a rebel in the party after he was removed from the post of LoP and replaced by Harpal Singh Cheema. Khaira had formed a separate group of ten MLAs alongwith Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu. Both of them had formed Punjab democratic Front in league with Dharamveer Gandhi suspended MP of AAP from Patiala and Bains brothers of Lok Insaaf Party.

While submitting his resignation from party today, Khaira said, "Needless to mention, the current political culture of traditional parties of the country stands badly decayed, due to which immense hope was generated by the formation of AAP. Like many other people across the globe even I was highly impressed by the emergence of AAP on the political spectrum of India, to cleanse the rampantly corrupt system. Punjabi’s worldwide motivated me to join your party so that we could improve the plight of our country and Punjab".

He said that unfortunately after joining the party he realised that the hierarchy of AAP was no different from the traditional centralised political parties. The turn of events into the run up of 2017 Punjab elections further confirmed my belief, that there was no inner party democracy.

Addressing to party convener Arvind Kejriwal, Khira said that If you remember I had strongly objected to the distribution of tickets for the Punjab assembly, as we had received reports of money exchange, favouritism and nepotism. You also failed to understand the psyche of Punjabi’s due to your overconfidence. You only listened to the two “Subedars” you had appointed to run Punjab and never bothered about the sentiments of AAP volunteers on the ground. By failing to project a Chief Ministerial face in Punjab, you further confounded the oft repeated allegations that an outsider will take over the reins in case of victory. A close perusal of the state history clearly indicates that the Punjabi’s have never accepted the authority of outsiders.

As expected the party crashed to only 20 seats in the Vidhan Sabha from the often boasted 100 seats victory by your “Subedars”. The saddest part is that a party which vouched of transparency and accountability never bothered to hold any person or persons accountable for the shameful defeat. It is a matter of fact, that one of the arrogant Subedars is still running Punjab from behind the curtain despite a huge hue and cry against him.

Khaira told Kejriwal that Your meek apology to the drug tainted former Minister Bikram Singh Majithia further revealed your double standards in politics. Your duplicity on the vital issue of Punjab river waters also puts you on the same pedestal of cunning leaders of India. You have blatantly gone back on the most important promise of Swaraj, by centralising all powers with yourself. You have also thrown to winds the constitution of the party merely to remain Convenor and continue your grip on the party. Your hobnobbing and flirting with the Congress is yet another example of sheer political opportunism, that has left the people of India bewildered.

Khaira stated in his resignation letter that he was saddened to state that your (Kejriwal's) dictatorial attitude has shattered the dreams of Indians and the Punjabis for a clean alternative to the decayed and rotten system. As a result of which almost all prominent leaders of the party beginning from Prashant Bhushan to Mr. H.S.Phoolka have either quit the party or you have thrown them out. We in Punjab aspire to turn the dream of a clean political alternative into a reality, which is impossible as long as I am a part of your highly centralised high command culture.

Although you have already rewarded our good work by humiliatingly suspending me and Mr. Kanwar Sandhu from the party but still I want to formalise the disconnection with you and AAP, by quitting its primary membership.

Meanwhile, the AAP Punjab unit has welcomed the resignation of Khaira and said that party needed men who can sacrifice for the party and not the selfish leaders who work for their self interests.

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