AAP MP Sanjay Singh on Saturday said he would contest the defamation case filed by former Punjab minister Vikram Singh Majithia against him even as his boss and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has apologised for alleging that the Akali Dal leader was involved in the drug trade. Refusing to comment on the apology tendered by Kejriwal, Sanjay Singh said: “I stand by whatever I have said in the past and irrespective of whatever is being said here and there. I will not retract from my stated stand.”
The AAP MP refused to be drawn into the controversy that has caused a virtual rebellion in the Punjab unit of the party after state chief Bhagwant Mann and another leader resigned from their posts. “I will not comment on this. I have stated my position as an individual, who along with Arvind (Kejriwal) and Aashish Khaitan are party to the defamation case filed against us,” Sanjay Singh told IANS here.
He parried a question whether his dissenting note reflected any unease in the party. The 45-year-old also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “subverting democracy” and “undermining parliamentary procedures”.
Speaking of his recent entry to the Upper House of parliament and his experience so far, he said there is neither proper debate in the Rajya Sabha nor a spirit in the treasury benches to “hear out and accommodate the views of the opposition members”.
“Parliament is for debate, a place where we lawmakers should be allowed to speak for the people, about their problems and raise pertinent issues facing the nation, but sadly that’s not happening,” he said, pointing out how the Finance Bill was rushed through the Lok Sabha without any debate.
Referring to the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, his home state, he said within one year the party had lost both the mandate and the goodwill of the people.
Attributing the loss of the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat in the recent by-polls among other things to the death of 67 infants due to lack of oxygen in a government hospital in that town, the AAP leader said people have “pulled out the oxygen of the state BJP government through their votes”.
Asked if the AAP will be a part of the BSP-SP combine in the coming days in Uttar Pradesh, Singh did not rule it out, saying the party will take a call when required.
On the pulling out of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from the NDA and their no-confidence motion against the Modi government, he urged all parties to support it and ensure that the arrogant and anti-people central government faces its nemesis.
“The BJP-led NDA government doesn’t want to talk of serious issues like SSC exams, the Cauvery dispute, the farmers plight and their subsequent unrest, distress in the economy and the sealing drive in Delhi… It is just deflecting the attention of the people.”