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Punjab

Kejri plays caste card, says Bains insulted Dalits; MLA hits back

July 31, 2018 05:18 AM

courstey  THE TRIBUNE JULY 31

Kejri plays caste card, says Bains insulted Dalits; MLA hits back
Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30

Days after he charged the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) with attempts to break his party’s state unit, AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal on Monday took on his former Punjab ally for its alleged “anti-Dalit” stand, saying LIP MLA Simarjit Singh Bains, a Jat, had insulted the Dalits by calling Leader of Opposition (LoP) Harpal Cheema ‘Pappu’ in a TV interview recently.
Bains, on the other hand, accused Kejriwal of trying to create caste tensions by “twisting” his remark. Speaking to The Tribune, he said ‘Pappu’ was a reference to Cheema being Kejriwal’s yes-man whereas Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who had been removed as LoP, always spoke his mind.
“I don’t need a certificate from Kejriwal. Everyone knows Dalits are a part of my party and I have stood by them,” he said.
AAP and the LIP had jointly fought the 2017 Assembly elections with AAP winning 18 seats and LIP two.
Differences first arose between them during the MC elections over some seats in Ludhiana. Later, when Kejriwal apologised to former Akali minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia for levelling drug smuggling charges against him, the LIP walked out of the alliance. Its MLAs Simarjit Singh Bains and his elder brother Balwinder Singh Bains frequently shared stage with Khaira. This annoyed AAP state co-convener Dr Balbir Singh, who accused Khaira of ignoring his own party workers and leaders. This was one of the key reasons why Khaira was removed as LoP

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