Deciding not to wait for appointment of a successor, senior AAP leader H S Phoolka will tender his resignation from the post of Leader of Opposition to Speaker Rana K P Singh on Tuesday. Phoolka had earlier said that he would wait for the party leadership to appoint a successor before resigning.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Monday, he said: “I am not aware of who will be the new Leader of Opposition. All I know is that there are some names in the fray.” Phoolka decided to quit after Delhi Bar Council rejected his plea that he should be allowed to contest the cases of 1984 riot victims after surrendering the perks of Leader of Opposition.
While he has stated that he has recommended three names to succeed him — Sunam MLA Aman Arora, Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira and Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, the name of Lok Insaaf party (LIP) Simarjeet Singh Bains has also started doing the rounds.
When asked about the possibility of a merger of LIP with AAP, Phoolka said that he had read the newspaper reports. “What I do know is that some of the denials which have come from certain parties are not correct. It is a bit like kabhi haan, kabhi na,” he said obliquely referring to denial of Bains that he was not in fray.
Simarjeet Bains said that as far as he was concerned merger of LIP with AAP was not an option. “I have recommended the name of Sukhpal Khaira to the AAP leadership as in my view he has the requisite potential to lead the party in the assembly,” he said.
Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu said that he had no information about the selection of a new name for Leader of Opposition. “It is not clear yet that if the views of the party MLAs will be taken or a decision will be made by the senior leadership,” he said.
Barely had AAP sorted out the issue of leadership in the party’s Punjab wing that it has now been saddled with yet another problem of choosing a new Leader of Opposition. There had been much heartburn in the party when Bhagwant Mann was appointed as the state president and hardly had the dust settled on that controversy that a new one has erupted. A senior AAP leader questioned why Phoolka accepted the post of Leader of Opposition in the first place. “As a constitutional lawyer he should have known that he could not fight the legal case due to the office of profit clause,” he said.