In a bid to strengthen AAP after its Punjab poll debacle, state co-convener Aman Arora on Thursday appealed to the party’s former state unit chief, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, to return to AAP. Chhotepur had left the party after being sacked as AAP’s Punjab convener over a purported cash for tickets sting. Talking to the media in Jalandhar after a meeting with volunteers, Arora said: “This is my personal appeal to Chhotepur and I am not saying this it on the behalf of the party…I will make an effort to bring him back.”
He also appealed all the volunteers, who had left the party, to return. Arora also said that Chhotepur’s removal from the party post was the main reason behind the party’s defeat in the state. He argued that the party could have avoided the decision of sacking him as state convener.
Asked about the removal of Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi as party’s state convener, Arora said that APP national convener Arvind Kejriwal arrived at a decision after one-to-one interaction with around 70 senior party leaders from Punjab. He added that Ghuggi was also more inclined towards his career in Punjabi films. “Apart from this, I had a meeting with Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi before the decision was taken in which Ghuggi said that he joined party as volunteer and would be ready to work as a volunteer,” he said, adding that Kejriwal wanted to give him some senior post but he decided to quit the party.
About the opposition among NRIs to appoint Bhagwant Mann as state convener, he said that after taking over, Mann had an interaction with them through video conferencing and the matter was sorted out.
Arora also tried to reiterate that the Punjab unit of the party will be an “autonomous unit” with no interference from the Delhi. He added that the details funds for Punjab will be maintained by the state unit and will also be made public. It was learnt that party volunteers exchanged heated arguments with party candidate from Adampur, Hans Raj Rana, and his supporters during the meeting in the presence of Arora.
Both groups were pacified by senior party leaders, Dr Sanjiv Sharma and Chandan Grewal. The reason behind the argument was tickets being given to “undeserving” candidates in the recently held Assembly polls.