Punjab AAP leaders trade charges as crisis deepens

Senior Aam Aadmi Party leaders of Punjab were embroiled in a war of words on Tuesday even as the crisis within the party only seems to deepen.

Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann lashed out at Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who was recently removed as the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, and Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, accusing them of weakening the party for their personal interests.

“Mr. Khaira and Mr. Sandhu are trying to break the party in Punjab and are misguiding the volunteers in the name of ‘Punjabiyat’. I always stood by the people of Punjab, but I want to ask them why this love for Punjab just after the change of the Leader of the Opposition,” said Mr. Mann here.

He alleged that Mr. Khaira and Mr. Sandhu’s fight is just to grab power. “When Mr. Khaira was in the Congress, why did he never demand autonomy from the Congress’s central leadership,” he asked.

Legal action

Rejecting the announcement by the duo to reconstitute the organisation in the State, Mr. Mann warned that the party will take legal action in case Mr. Khaira and Mr. Sandhu continue to violate party guidelines.

Mr. Khaira hit back, saying Mr. Mann was acting as a mouthpiece of the Congress and that the national leadership of the AAP had forged a secret alliance with the Congress.

He said the allegations levelled by Mr. Mann were not only false but that he was appalled to see the "cheap theatrics by an elected Member of Parliament".

The Khaira camp also announced its eight-member ad hoc political affairs committee for Punjab.

“The ad hoc PAC will monitor and supervise the reconstitution of the entire political structure of the party’s State unit, including the appointment of the State president-convener. Once the State unit’s political structure is in place, the ad hoc PAC and ad hoc State executive will stand dissolved. A new executive and PAC would be constituted,” said Mr. Sandhu.

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