Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader HS Phoolka on Sunday as per Indian Express report decided to quit as the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly to continue to appear in courts for 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims. Recently, Phoolka, a Supreme Court lawyer, had indicated that he will give up the cabinet minister status as the Leader of Opposition to continue to fight for the riot victims in courts. He said that the Delhi Bar Council did not allow him to appear for the victims in several cases against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others citing that he enjoyed an ‘office of profit’. Phoolka said, “I have decided to quit as the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly and I have conveyed my decision to the party high command.” Phoolka has recommended the names of MLAs Sukhpal Khaira, Kanwar Sandhu and Aman Arora, in line with their seniority, to the party headquarters to elect the Leader of Opposition from among them in consultation with other party legislators. He said that the party will soon take a decision in this regard.
As per the reports, The MLA from Dakha seat said that he had requested the Delhi Bar Council to allow him to appear in the court for the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims as he was fighting the cases free of charge. He said, “But my pleas were not accepted.” The AAP leader said that he had been fighting these cases for many years now and have reached a very “crucial” stage. He said,“My presence in anti-Sikh riot cases is important at this stage that is why I decided to quit as the Leader of Opposition.”
Last Wednesday, Phoolka said,”Will not give up ’84 carnage cases. Asking Bar Council if by giving up minister status, I can appear in these cases.” Two days prior to this, he said on the microblogging site,”Sought permission to do ’84 carnage case pro bono, Bar Council should realise, it doesn’t amount to practice, rather should encourage it. Seek review.” After becoming the main opposition party in Punjab following the polls in the state earlier this year, AAP had chosen Phoolka as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.