AAP MP from Punjab and the party’s state unit’s president, Bhagwant Mann, has resigned from his post what appears to be in protest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s decision to apoligise to former state minister Bikram Singh Majithia.
Taking to Facebook, Mann said, “I m resigning as a president of AAP Punjab …but my fight against drug mafia and all kind of corruption in Punjab will continue as an “Aam Aadmi “ of Punjab. (sic).”
Moments later, another AAP MLA Aman Arora too resigned from the post of co-president of the party’s Punjab unit. Tagging Delhi deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, Arora wrote, ” Dear Manish Sisodia ji, Due to painful turn of events since yesterday, plz accept my resignation from the post of Co-President. (sic)”
The AAP was also jolted by the news that its alliance partner in Punjab, Lok Insaf Party, had dumped the party in protest against Kejriwal’s apology. AAP had fought Punjab assembly polls in alliance with LIP, headed by powerful Bains brothers of Ludhiana.
LIP’s Simranjeet Singh Bains said, “We have announced to break our alliance with the AAP. We cannot be associated with a party whose main leader meekly surrendered by tendering apology to former minister Bikram Singh Majithia.”
“This is betrayal to people of Punjab, people will not bear with it. This is a non-issue, probably there is a back-door dealing behind it. Our MLAs will sit together and take a collective decision,” Bains was further quoted by ANI.
This came after several AAP MLAs in Punjab including Sukhpal Singh Khaira, the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, publicly criticised Kejriwal’s decision. Alleging that they were never consulted by Kejriwal before he issued an extraordinary apology, Khaira had said, “I fail to understand the timing of Kejrewal’ apology when STF (Special Task Force) of Punjab has stated to the High Court today that there’s substantial evidence to proceed against Bikram Majitha on the issue of drugs.”
Incidentally, Kejriwal’s apology came on the day the STF submitted its report on the drug mafia before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In its report, the STF was believed to have said that there were enough evidence to launch a probe against Majithia.
The Delhi chief minister on Thursday had apologised to Majithia for his past allegations against him on the latter’s alleged involvement in drug trade. Reacting to Kejriwal’s apology, Majithia had said that he accepted the AAP convenor’s apology.
In his apology letter, Kejriwal had said, “In the recent past I made certain statements and allegations against you regarding your alleged involvement in drug trade. These statements became a political issue. Now I’ve learnt that allegations are unfounded. Hence there should be no politics on such issues.”
Later it was reported that Kejriwal had also made up his mind to apologise to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the ongoing defamation case against AAP leaders.
Thursday’s development has caused considerable turmoil in AAP with many vehemently opposing the party’s national convenor’s decision.