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Delhi-Punjab gap nothing new for AAP

For the AAP unit in Punjab, where it won 20 out of 117 seats and became the main opposition party, the last two days have been a culmination of almost a month-long freeze between the main leadership and the state unit.

Written by Mallica Joshi | New Delhi |
Updated: March 17, 2018 7:59:43 am
AAP, Aam Aadmi Party, Punjab AAP, Arvind Kejriwal, Bikram Singh Majithia, Bhagwant Mann resignation, indian express news AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann (Express photo by Rana Simranjit Singh/File)

A unit left without guidance, minimal communication and an apology that has left the party cadre in the state “stunned”. For the AAP unit in Punjab, where it won 20 out of 117 seats and became the main opposition party, the last two days have been a culmination of almost a month-long freeze between the main leadership and the state unit.

After party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to SAD’s Bikram Singh Majithia, the Punjab unit president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann resigned from the post on Friday, and said he will continue his fight against the drug mafia and corruption as an “aam aadmi”. His resignation was followed by that of co-president Aman Arora.

Read | Crisis in AAP after Kejriwal says sorry, Punjab chief resigns

According to a senior party leader, for Kejriwal to apologise for his statements against Majithia was like “disowning” an entire election campaign.

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“The statements made against Majithia were not something that a leader said in anger. Posters were put up where allegations against Majithia were made. It was a thought-out strategy. With the apology, the credibility of the party in the state is at stake. All we had was credibility. The rural vote we got was what shifted from the SAD. This position compromises our electoral future in the state,” he said.

Read | Delhi CM has accepted he is a liar, says BJP; Congress hits out

AAP’s Punjab in-charge Manish Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister, said that the party leadership will talk to state leaders and find a way to resolve the issue. “We fight for people on the streets. It is not our work to fight in court. However, we will fight for people in court. If we spend time in court, then how we will be able to spare time for the people?” he said.

Punjab, some said, has largely been ignored by the party over the past few months. In April last year, after Delhi’s loss in the MCD elections, Sanjay Singh resigned from the position of political affairs in-charge and Durgesh Pathak from the post of co-observer. The party did not have an observer between May and December, which was when Sisodia was appointed as convener.

In the seven months in between, many senior leaders were asked to take up the responsibility and guide the party in the state, but no one was ready to lead a state which had seen so much infighting as well as differences with the national leadership.

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