Widening its crackdown on dissidents, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has suspended one of its senior leaders in Punjab for indulging in “anti-party” activities while its Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi, who had sided with the rebels, has apparently offered to “resign” from all posts.
Making the signs of discomfiture in the Punjab unit stark, Gandhi, who had taken a stand in support of rebels Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav at the national council meet, in a letter to party chief Arvind Kejriwal has also complained against the “slander” campaign against him.
Confirming the developments, the party’s Punjab convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur said that Manjit Singh was suspended for openly talking to the media against the party. “In future if anyone crosses the party line, action will be taken against them.”
On possible action against Gandhi, Chhotepur said, “I believe Gandhi has already written to Kejriwal (Arvind) offering to resign from all posts.” However, despite several attempts Gandhi could not be reached for his comments.
When contacted, Singh said that he was suspended for “speaking out” against the removal of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan in “an unconstitutional way” and the manner they were humiliated by the party.
“I came to know about the action against me only through the media,” he said.
Singh, a former spokesperson of the party’s Punjab unit, was also the member of the screening and campaigning committee in the state during the Lok Sabha polls.
“Professor Manjit Singh is suspended from the party pending enquiry against his anti-party activities. He will no longer represent the party in any forum in the media and outside,” a press note said.
The move was also slammed by another state leader Baldeep Singh, who had contested from the Khadoor Sahib Lok Sabha constituency, as “unconstitutional” and against the established norms of the party.
“The decision should have been routed through the state executive committee and the disciplinary committee. He should have been given a show-cause notice. But they have disregarded every single norm,” Baldeep told PTI.
Yesterday, AAP had suspended two of its National Executive members from Uttar Pradesh, Rakesh Sinha and Vishal Sharma Lathe, for attending a press conference held by Yadav and Bhushan immediately after they were expelled from the top panels of the party.