The Punjab Aam Aadmi Party has openly revolted against its national convenor Arvind Kejriwal following his apology to Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia for making “unfounded” allegations of drug trade.
Condemning the apology, state AAP president Bhagwant Mann and his deputy Aman Arora have put in their papers.
“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,” Mann tweeted.
On Thursday, Kejriwal tendered an apology to Majithia for levelling “unfounded” allegations of narcotics trade against him.
During his rallies in the run-up of 2017 Punjab Assembly Elections, the AAP chief terming the Akali Dal leader a “drug lord” had promised his audience to “drag” him "by his collar" to jail if elected to power.
AAP’s ally in Punjab, Lok Insaaf Party, termed the apology a “betrayal” towards the people and decided to break off the alliance.
Reacting to the development, AAP Leader of Opposition in Punjab Sukhpal Singh Khaira said, “All of us in Punjab are saddened to learn how Kejriwal ji has gone to apologise to Majithia when state govt’s STF has submitted in High Court that there is strong clinching evidence against him.”
Angered over Kejrwial’s apology, AAP MLAs in Punjab called an emergency meeting with the alliance MLAs on Friday to decide their future course of action.
Lok Insaf Party chief Simarjit Singh Bains claimed that most of the MLAs were in favour of forming a new party.
However, the MLAs could not reach a consensus on the matter and decided to remain in the party.
“During meeting there was a feeling, that maybe the time has come that Punjab unit should function on its own, however we couldn’t have a consensus, so the decision has been deferred,” said AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu after the meeting.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has launched a scathing attack on Kejriwal and said that the AAP chief had ‘murdered’ the party in Punjab.