Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked Sangrur mp Bhagwant Mann and leader of opposition party Sukhpal Khaira to resign from the primary membership of AAP as well as from the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha respectively and seek a fresh mandate instead of indulging in theatrics to befool the people.
In a statement here, former minister and party spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal had stated that he had made unfounded allegations against former minister Bikram Majithia and apologized for the same. “If both Mann and Khaira feel differently now and are truly not with the AAP Convener they should resign from parliament and the State assembly immediately because they got votes in the name of Kejriwal”.
Speaking about Bhagwant Mann’s resignation as AAP Punjab unit President, the Akali leader asked him not to indulge in drama-politics. Dr Cheema said Mann should tell Punjabis why he did not resign when leader of opposition party Sukhpal Singh Khaira was made an accused in an international drug case by a Fazilka court. “You must tell Punjabis why you did not respect the findings of a court which called Khaira the king pin of a cross border drug smuggling racket which also involved arms smuggling. Why didn’t this prick your conscience?” Dr Cheema asked.
Speaking about Bhagwant Mann’s own track record, the Akali leader said the Sangrur mp had lost the assembly elections from Jalalabad. “Subsequently his position and authority in the party has been so severely eroded that his resignation is immaterial”.
As regards Sukhpal Khaira, the Akali leader said the less said the better. He said forget resigning from AAP or from the Vidhan Sabha, the AAP leader was sticking to his chair and not even offering to resign as leader of opposition party. He said Sukhpal Khaira’s double speak had been exposed today. “Khaira seems to have forgotten that he is an accused in an international drug racket and that the court has made him an accused, not any political party or personality. Khaira’s co-accused have already been awarded twenty year prison sentences. In such a situation Khaira does not even have the moral right to talk about drugs let alone try to wriggle free by using his connections with recently appointed Commissions.
Stating that it was easy to preach morality but difficult to practice it, the SAD leader said the time had come for Khaira to show he had the moral courage to resign as leader of opposition party as well as the assembly and contest elections again. This would be a ready test of his stand as well as his popularity.
Commenting on AAP, Dr Cheema said in the last one year the party had been virtually obliterated in Punjab. “Two of its four mps have already deserted the party. Its candidate lost his security deposit in the Gurdaspur by poll. In elections to municipal corporations of Patiala, Jalandhar and Amritsar the party drew a blank. Recently the party won one seat in the Ludhiana Corporation elections.