Chandigarh: Aam Aadmi Party state president and Sangrur Bhagwant Mann dared the rebel leader Sukhpal Khaira, Kanwar Sandhu and other MLAs to resign and face elections afresh.
Continuing to defy the Aam Aadmi Party leadership, the Sukhpal Khaira-led group on Tuesday announced a parallel political affairs committee.
Pointing out that the party PAC had more members from Delhi than Punjab, the Khaira group had revolted against the central leadership and sought “autonomy”.
Mann, who has kept off Punjab affairs since March, when he resigned as state convener to protest Kejriwal’s apology to former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia on the drug charges, said he was willing to work on any post, including that of state convener, if Kejriwal and the people wanted so.
Importantly, Mann was accompanied by Barnala MLA Meet Hayer. There had been speculation that he could join the dissidents. Attacking Khaira and Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, Mann dubbed them as opportunists “who will join anyone for posts and power”.
Hayer claimed Sandhu had told Kejriwal that if made Leader of the Opposition, he would “manage” Sukhpal Khaira.
Warning that disciplinary action may be taken against the rebels, Mann claimed Khaira’s Bathinda convention was an effort to launch his son in politics as he was among those holding the stage. The Khaira group said they would respond to the allegations on Wednesday.
The ad hoc PAC comprises all eight dissident MLAs — Sukhpal Singh Khaira, (Bholath); Kanwar Sandhu (Kharar); Nazar Singh Mansahia (Mansa); Jagdev Singh Kamalu (Maur); Master Baldev Singh (Jaiton); Pirmal Singh Khalsa (Bhadaur); Jagtar Singh Jagga Hissowal (Raikot) and Jai Krishan Rodi (Garhshankar).
Sandhu said Mansahia would be member secretary of the ad hoc PAC, which will also have eight special invitees — Gurpartap Singh Khushalpur (Gurdaspur), Daljit Singh Sadarpura (Dharamkot), NS Chahal (Moga), Deepak Bansal (Bathinda), Paramjit Singh Sachdeva (Hoshiarpur), Pargat Singh Chaugawan (Amritsar-Rural), Suresh Sharma (Amritsar-Urban) and Karamjit Kaur (Mansa).
All members and special invitees would be members of the proposed ad hoc state executive.
“The PAC will supervise the reconstitution of the Punjab unit, including the appointment of state president/convener,” Sandhu said. It would set up district, Vidhan Sabha and block-level units and monitor party volunteers’ meetings “to infuse new spirit in the party”.