Top AAP leaders quit over Kejriwal's apology

Clay Curtis
March 18, 2018

Aam Aadmi Party MP Bhagwant Mann has resigned as president of its Punjab unit in what is being seen as a backlash to party founder Arvind Kejriwal's apology to a former minister over allegations linked to a drugs racket.

"Why should one do anything for which one has to tender an apology later on", Anna Hazare told the media.

Earlier on Friday, Punjab Aam Aadmi Party MLAs had not only challenged his decision to apologise to the former Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia but also moved a censure motion against him in a meeting held under the leadership of Punjab Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

The AAP's central leadership has called the party's Punjab leaders, including MLAs, for a meeting with its national convener Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi tomorrow, after a majority of its MLAs in the state yesterday discussed the option of splitting and forming a separate unit.

Meanwhile, Hazare said that he will launch an agitation on the issue of Lok Pal. He also added that if the leader of Opposition has anyone else in mind, the government will go ahead with them.

Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said Kejriwal's apology amounted to "murder of AAP in Punjab".

"But no consensus was achieved on breaking away as many MLAs felt that views should be taken from volunteers and constituents before taking any further decision".

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After Bhagwant Mann's resignation, AAP MLAs have gathered to take stock of the situation, said AAP Punjab legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

"The chief minister has written to committee member Bhure Lal to discuss the issue involving the ongoing sealing drive in Delhi", an official said. "After hearing all the interested parties, traders, RWAs, we have framed a proposal which is created to make Delhi a more livable place", he said.

"I don't know why he does that but this is no way for a Chief Minister to behave, irrespective of his lack of experience", he said.

The AAP poll plank in the run-up to the Assembly elections a year ago revolved largely around eradicating the drug menace.

Mr. Sandoa said, "I met Kejriwal today [Saturday]". He accepted funds from Punjabis and also promised to punish Majithia.

"In such circumstances, Kejriwal's apology was painful, very unfortunate".

"The apology shows a weakness of mind, and the people of Punjab have been let down", said Khaira.

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