The state as well as block-level units of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab were dissolved Monday, in a special meeting of MLAs and office-bearers called by the new state convenor and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann.
A decision was taken at the meeti that all office-bearers of the Punjab unit would be appointed afresh and that the entire exercise would take place under the chairmanship of co-convenor and Sunam MLA, Aman Arora. Speaking to the media, Mann said that the party has also decided to contest the upcoming local bodies elections and the by-election in Gurdaspur, following the death of the MP Vinod Khanna.
“The re-structuring exercise will begin from May 18. I will be touring the entire state to rejuvenate the party. I will also try to include all those who have been annoyed with the party leadership and take them into confidence,” said Mann. The meeting was also attended by Bholath MLA, Sukhpal Khaira, who had recently resigned as the chief whip of the party in the Vidhan Sabha. At a meeting called in New Delhi by national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, Khaira had openly spoken against the appointment of Mann as the new convenor. Apart from Khaira, Leader of Opposition HS Phoolka also attended the meeting.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Khaira said that he did not harbour any personal grudge against Mann and all that he desired was that the party should come back to its original shape and thought. He said that with the new structure of the party being put in place, it would only augur well for AAP.
The meeting saw Mann hold separate meetings with party representatives from all parliamentary constituencies. There has been disaffection within AAP’s Punjab unit after his appointment with the former convenor, Gurpreet Singh Waraich resigning from the primary membership of the party in protest. Another senior leader, Upkar Singh Sandhu, who had contested the Amritsar by-election had also been thrown out of the party by Mann after he publicly raised objections over his appointment as convenor.