AAP Punjab unit rift widens

The Aam Aadmi Party’s rebel faction in Punjab on Wednesday criticised the announcement of new office-bearers by the party and threatened to set up its own organisational structure if the appointments are not scrapped by November 1.

The development comes a day after the warring factions held talks here to iron out differences ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The members of the two groups had described the meeting as “positive” and “fruitful”.

“On one hand they hold unity talks and then they issue a press release making announcements of new district presidents. We are hurt and saddened by this decision. It should not have happened,” rebel faction leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira told reporters here. “With these appointments it is clear they want to appoint their own men,” he claimed.

“This decision raises a question about their intention [to patch up]. They should scrap these appointments if they want to have an honest dialogue with us,” he said.

Following a meeting of its core committee on Tuesday, the AAP announced appointments of three district and eight constituency presidents, besides giving the charge of its Punjab kisan and transport cells to two MLAs.

Mr. Khaira said his faction had earlier decided to announce the names of 26 district presidents.

“But our political affairs committee has now decided not to announce the names of the new district presidents despite the fact that the list is ready,” he said.

Nov. 1 deadline

“We will wait till November 1. After that we will we forced to form our own organisational structure, up to the booth level,” he said.

“At our meeting [on Monday], which was a detailed one, we had sought scrapping of the current organisational structure and resignation of the Leader of the Opposition [in Punjab Assembly],” said Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, a member of the dissident group.

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