Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal surrendering to Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia has exposed the unit’s cold relationship between the party’s main leadership and the Punjab state unit. This comes at a time when AAP is already reeling under a major gap as many claimed that Punjab has largely been ignored by the party over the past few months. Yesterday, AAP’s Punjab unit went into a major crisis as the leadership contemplated breaking away from the main party and formed a separate unit. This comes after party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s apologized to SAD’s Bikram Singh Majithia for accusing him of the drugs trade. The Punjab unit said the “meek surrender” was painful and unfortunate.
The Punjab cadre witnessed a slew of resignations yesterday, as AAP’s Punjab unit president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann and co-president Aman Arora resigned from their posts. Mann tweeted that his fight against the drug mafia and all kind of corruption in Punjab will continue as “Aam Aadmi” of Punjab. All the AAP MLAs condemned the apology tendered by Kejriwal without consulting the state leaders which has made party’s position in Punjab untenable and party volunteers, constituents and even NRI supporters very upset.
In a meeting between MLAs last evening, discussion took place on what should be the party’s next course of action. AAP state unit leaders also said they were now facing allegations whether Arvind Kejriwal had entered into an understanding with the SAD by tendering an apology to Majithia in a defamation case. Kejriwal also earned the wrath of the ruling Congress and SAD-BJP leaders, who accused him of being in the habit of making false allegations against his opponents to garner votes.
Resignations in the Aam Aadmi Party have become a trend in recent times after Sanjay Singh resigned from the position of political affairs in-charge and Durgesh Pathak from the post of co-observer, following the loss of AAP in Delhi’s MCD elections. The party also didn’t have an observer between May and December after which Manish Sisodia was appointed for the same. For the AAP unit in Punjab, this split will come as a bigger shocker as it had recently become a major opposition party after winning 20 out of 117 seats.