Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh said on Friday that he had not apologised for his allegations against former Punjab minister BS Majithia for his alleged involvement in drug trade. Singh, along with his party colleagues Arvind Kejriwal and Ashish Khetan, was an accused in a defamation case Majithia had filed. Kejriwal and Khetan apologised for their allegations on Thursday.
Singh, a close aide of Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal, called their apology “unfortunate”. “I reiterate what I had said about Majithia earlier, and I am not going to retract it,” the AAP leader told The Times of India. The defamation case against him will continue, Majithia’s lawyer told The Indian Express.
On Thursday, Kejriwal had apologised to Majithia, saying his allegations that the Shiromani Akali Dal leader was involved in the drug trade in Punjab were “unfounded”.
AAP’s partner quits alliance
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party’s alliance partner in Punjab withdrew its support for the party on Friday. Calling off the alliance, the Lok Insaf Party said Kejriwal was a “traitor” and “fraudster” who had “betrayed” Punjabis by issuing the apology, PTI reported.
The two parties had contested the Punjab Assembly elections in 2017 together. The Aam Aadmi Party is the main Opposition party in the state with 20 legislators, and the Lok Insaf Party has two.
“We cannot be associated with a party whose main leader meekly surrendered by tendering an apology to Majithia,” Lok Insaf Party’s leader Simarjeet Singh Bains said after a meeting with AAP legislators. “He accepted funds from Punjabis and also promised to punish Majithia [before the elections].”
Bains claimed that 15 of the 20 AAP legislators in the Punjab Assembly were in favour of leaving the party and forming a new one, The Indian Express reported.
Earlier on Friday, Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann had resigned as AAP’s Punjab unit chief in protest against Kejriwal’s apology. Another state leader of the Aam Aadmi Party, Sukhpal Khaira, said he and the party were “appalled and stunned” by the apology.