AAM AADMI Party (AAP) MLA H S Phoolka Tuesday met the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana KP Singh and reiterated in person his desire to resign from the membership of the Assembly.
Phoolka, who represents Dakhha constituency in Ludhiana, had submitted his resignation to the Speaker in September citing his decision to resign from his Assembly seat. Phoolka had cited the inaction of the state government in the cases of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and the death of two persons in police firing in Behbal Kalan as the reasons for his resignation.
Phoolka said that he had met the Speaker because he had been told that resignation sent on email were not considered. “I have not given another resignation letter but have reiterated my previous one in person,” he said. When asked if he would be contesting the by-election that would result from his resignation, Phoolka said he had not given any thought to this issue.
With the acceptance of Phoolka’s resignation now a mere formality, it is certain that a by-election will take place in Dakha constituency within the next few months. The AAP tally of 20 MLAs in the Vidhan Sabha would now come down to 19 and with Bholath MLA, Sukhpal Khaira, contemplating contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Bathinda, this tally will further come down to 18.
However, AAP will still remain the single largest opposition party in the assembly as it will be more than the 14 MLAs that SAD has in the house and even combined with the three BJP MLAs the tally of SAD-BJP alliance still fall shorts of AAP. However, if more AAP rebels decide to part ways with the party and submit their resignations then the party may stand to lose the post of Leader of Opposition. As of now, after Phoolka’s resignation the number of Delhi loyalist MLAs has gone down from 12 to 11 with eight MLAs of the party being in the rebel camp.