Jolt for AAP as Ghuggi quits party

first_imgTroubles of the beleaguered Aam Aadmi Party, which has been rocked by allegations of corruption against its national convener Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi, compounded further in neighbouring Punjab on Wednesday.Former Punjab convener and senior leader Gurpreet Singh Waraich ‘Ghuggi’ resigned from the AAP on Wednesday expressing displeasure over the manner in which he was removed as State convener. The AAP had on Monday had restructured its Punjab unit by appointing Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann as State convener and Sunam MLA Aman Arora as co-convener. “I’m resigning from the party’s primary membership. The way I was dropped from the position of State convener is unacceptable. I’m personally not against Mr. Mann, but against his appointment due to his alleged drinking habit. I can’t work under such leadership,” Mr. Ghuggi told journalists here.Notably, the rejig was followed by resignation of senior leader and MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira as party spokesperson and chief whip in the Punjab Assembly. He too was allegedly upset over Mr. Mann’s appointment to the top post in the State.Mr. Ghuggi added: “Also, I don’t understand why most powers are being concentrated in Mr. Mann’s hands. We have other leaders who are suitable for the post. This is not the same party I had joined. The AAP I see today has deviated from its principles. Volunteers, who were once the backbone of the party, are being sidelined.”“The party claims Mr. Mann was elected in a democratic manner after consulting MLAs, zone in-charges, etc., and conducting a poll. But I want to ask [AAP national convener] Mr. Kejriwal why the party didn’t invite all candidates who had contested the Assembly polls and volunteers to participate in the voting exercise. The party invited members to vote based on a pick and choose policy,” he alleged, adding that the election process for choosing the new State chief was an eyewash.Raising apprehensions on the re-structuring of the party in Punjab, senior leader Kanwar Sandhu, who is in Canada, had said in a Facebook post on Tuesday: “In my view, instead of rejuvenating and strengthening the Punjab unit of the AAP, the manner of its reorganisation on May 8 [Monday] could end up weakening it.”He had said that the party’s exercise should’ve been preceded by stocktaking, fixing of responsibility and introspection of its performance in the 2017 Punjab polls. This, Mr. Sandhu had said, should’ve been done by MPs, MLAs and volunteers in and outside Punjab.“Reorganising the party by merely changing horses without any introspection is repeating the same mistakes that resulted in the party’s debacle in the 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls. I remain committed to the party but it’s important to speak one’s mind. I hope I am proven wrong in the coming months,” the post read further.Upkar Sandhu expelledIn another development, the AAP on Wednesday expelled senior party leader Upkar Singh Sandhu over alleged “anti-party activities”.Mr. Sandhu, who had unsuccessfully contested the recent Amritsar Parliamentary constituency bypolls, had opposed Mr. Mann’s appointment as State unit chief.(With PTI inputs)last_img

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