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AAP suspends rebel MLAs Khaira, Sandhu from party

November 04, 2018 05:40 AM

courtesy HT NOV 4

AAP suspends rebel MLAs Khaira, Sandhu from party
ANTI­PARTY’ ACTS Khaira says Kejri’s decision dictatorial, will form new front
The party has decided to suspend them with immediate effect after exhausting all the available avenues to assuage them and make them see reason. A STATEMENT BY AAP STATE CORE COMMITTEE

CHANDIGARH: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday suspended rebel leaders Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu from the party for “antiparty activities”, queering the pitch for a split in the rookie party.

HT FILE
■ AAP high command’s move aims at isolating Sukhpal Khaira (R) and Kanwar Sandhu from other party leaders backing them.
The disciplinary action against Khaira and Sandhu, MLAs from Bholath and Kharar, came 48 hours after AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was in Chandigarh on Thursday, stated that the party will take action against dissident leaders at the right time.

Khaira, on his part, termed Kejirwal’s decision as dictatorial and announced to form a new front to ‘fight for Punjab’.

The AAP’s state core committee party, while announcing the duo’s suspension, said Khaira and Sandhu were “consistently indulging in anti-party activities and continuously attacking” central and state leadership. “The core committee has decided to suspend them with immediate effect after exhausting all the available avenues to assuage them and make them see reason,” it said in a brief statement.

Though eight of the 20 party MLAs had rebelled against the party, it has suspended the two most vocal critics who had become the face of the dissident group, hoping to try and wean away some of the others in the coming days.

The decision is seen as an attempt by the party to isolate Khaira and Sandhu from other leaders and MLAs backing them.

The Bholath MLA, who got a fillip after a march held by him and other like-minded groups from Kotkapura to Bargari on October 7 to show solidarity with radical Sikh organisations received a tremendous response, has been talking about floating a new front ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

However, Khaira cannot set up or join any other political party without attracting the anti-defection law until he has the support of 14 legislators (twothirds of the total strength of the party).

Khaira, along with Sandhu and six other party MLAs, had staged a rebellion against the AAP leadership after he was unceremoniously removed from the post of leader of opposition (LOP) in the assembly, throwing the party into turmoil.

He was replaced with Dirba MLA Harpal Singh Cheema for repeatedly taking on the central leadership, particularly his open defiance after Kejriwal’s apology to Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia in March 2018 in a drug charge-related defamation case.

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