The Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday suspended rebel leaders Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu from the party for allegedly indulging in “anti-party” activities, PTI reported.
AAP in a statement said the leaders had been indulging in “anti-party” activities and had continuously attacked the central and state party leadership. The party said it has decided to suspend the two leaders with immediate effect after exhausting all other avenues.
“Indiscipline and anti-party activities cannot be tolerated at any level,” the statement said, according to The New Indian Express. “Leaders and volunteers have to follow the rules set by the party.”
The decision was taken by the core committee of AAP’s Punjab unit chaired by MLA Budh Ram in Chandigarh. AAP legislator and leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema said the core committee had the consent of the Political Affairs Committee to suspend the two leaders. Khaira and Sandhu are legislators of Bholath and Kharar constituencies.
Khaira said he welcomes the party’s decision to suspend him. “Its only helped further expose the dictatorial face Arvind Kejriwal who once spoke of “swaraj” and taught his party men to be humble after winning but did exactly the opposite,” he said. “Only chicken-hearted leaders behave like this.”
Khaira said AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal cannot tolerate any democracy within the party, reported ANI. “He doesn’t want to listen to the truth,” Khaira said. “He doesn’t like those people who talk about Punjab. Just because it’s poll time in Haryana, his complete focus has shifted to Haryana.”
Sandhu, meanwhile, said it was ironic that the party suspended him on the same day that his alma mater honoured him for his contribution to society.
The suspension comes after Khaira was sacked from the post of Leader of Opposition in July and two days after AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to Chandigarh. “My politics is not Sukhpal Khaira,” Kejriwal had said. “My politics is towards the people of this country.”
Khaira is leading a group of seven dissident MLAs who revolted against the party after he was removed from the post of the Leader of Opposition. The rebel MLAs also set up a parallel ad-hoc political affairs committee.