SENIOR LEADER Sucha Singh Chhotepur started his state-wide tour from Gurdaspur district Tuesday to decide his next political move after being removed as AAP’s Punjab convener last month.
Chhotepur announced that he would not join Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) or the Congress party. He, however, kept his cards close to chest on his joining the “fourth front” Awaz-e-Punjab launched by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu.
He compared AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
“We had great expectations from AAP and Arvind Kejriwal. People had made their mind to vote for AAP in 2017. But Kejriwal turned out to be a second Parkash Singh Badal. He only cheated me and also the party volunteers by giving tickets to tainted candidates. He attempted to finish me politically. Kejriwal must have some hidden compromise with the Badal family as he and his team of observers from Delhi did everything that benefitted ruling alliance in state. I have survived because of your support. Now you will decide my fate,” said Chhotepur to a handsome crowd gathered in the President Marriage Palace of Gurdaspur.
Gurdaspur is Chhotepur’s home district.
“The party never gave me any funds. We all run this party with our hard work. There was no help from Delhi. But as soon as the party began to stand on its feet in Punjab, observers from Delhi came and they started exploiting volunteers and leaders. I tried to bring it in the notice of Arvind Kejriwal many times, but he didn’t give me any time for a meeting in the past six months and finally he decided to kill me politically,” said Chhotepur.
“I will not join SAD and Congress party at any cost. I will ask my volunteers and will take next decision accordingly after concluding Punjab tour,” said Chhotepur.
Taking dig at the “fresh alliance” of AAP with former Congress leader Jagmeet Brar, He said, “Earlier, they were not ready to take Jagmeet Brar as the party was on a roll and someone like Brar didn’t matter at the time. Now, the party is a sinking ship and they have been seeing hope to survive by joining hand with anyone. It shows only frustration of party to remain in race. But they have already lost.”
‘Congress open to Chhotepur’: Amarinder Singh
Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder on Tuesday said Sucha Singh Chhotepur was “most welcome” to join the Congress and that it was “up to him (Chhotepur) to take the decision.” Reacting to Monday’s protest by Hans Raj Hans and his supporters at a Congress meeting over Dalit issues, the PPCC president said it was a minor issue and hence it should not be blown out of proportion. “It was a matter of difference of opinion,” he said.