A FRESH crisis hit the AAP Thursday, with some persons, claiming to be party workers, alleging that its Punjab co-president, Balbir Singh, has told them that Leader of Opposition, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, takes cash from party workers. Sources said Khaira has complained about the allegation to the party’s state in-charge, Manish Sisodia, demanding that action should be taken against Balbir or against him if the allegations are true.
The ‘party workers’, who are said to be from Shutrana, near Patiala, uploaded a video statement on a Facebook page ‘Punjabi Fan Gurpreet Guggi de’ Thursday, saying they had gone to meet Balbir Singh to complain about the removal of the party’s Patiala rural district president, Gian Singh Mango, and were shocked to hear Balbir allege Khaira took “cash in envelopes from workers” at a function in Patiala recently. In the video, they also said they stood by Khaira and that he was the only leader who was taking up the cause of the party and maintaining an aggressive stance against the Akalis and the Congress.
Khaira refused to comment on the matter. However, a senior AAP leader, who did not wish to be named, said Khaira had sought immediate intervention of Manish Sisodia in the matter. Sources said Khaira also spoke to Balbir on the allegations made against him, asking him to “prove them.”
However Balbir denied making any such allegations against Khaira. “I have not said anything. I do not know who these people are… who have made the allegations in the video. It seems there is conspiracy to create trouble in the party because of the re-structuring that is under way,” he said.
Trouble has been brewing between Balbir and Khaira since the former issued a statement distancing the party’s Punjab unit from the remarks made by Khaira on ‘Referendum 2020’. Balbir had hinted action might be taken against Khaira for his statement and the matter had also reached the party’s Delhi leadership where Khaira was asked to give a written explanation to the co-president. This was followed by a public spat between the two when Dr Balbir reiterated his earlier comment that Khaira had not answered his phone calls in the aftermath of his comment on the ‘Referendum 2020’ and Khaira retorting by calling this contention to be untrue.
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