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Khaira drug case: AAP leader expresses relief, says will continue to ‘expose’ Congress govt in Punjab

"I have been saying from day one that I am innocent and that I am being framed," said Khaira, who was in the capital to attend the Supreme Court hearing.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh | Published: December 2, 2017 9:08:40 am
sukhpal singh khaira, aap punjab, leader of opposition punjab, indian express Sukhpal Singh Khaira, AAP leader and leader of opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha during press conference at his resident in Chandigarh after Fazilka court issued summons to him on drugs case on Wednesday, October 01 2017. (Express photo by Jaipal Singh)

Following the relief granted to him from the Supreme Court on Friday in the drug smuggling case, Punjab’s Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira said he would attack the “corrupt practices” of the Congress government with renewed vigour.

Khaira, who was in New Delhi for the court hearing, said he was heading straight for the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara to pay obeisance. “I have been saying from day one that I am innocent and that I am being framed. But I am still feeling shocked at the manner in which the August Assembly was misused by CM Captain Amarinder Singh to pass a resolution against the Bains brothers for making the audio sting public,” he said.

Khaira said he held the courts in the highest regard and that his only aim was to find out whether the question of bribery was a fact and if it was, then the source of the money should be traced.

READ | Why summons to Punjab leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira has AAP on backfoot

Sounding mellowed after his initial outburst against CM Amarinder Singh in which he called him names and also dug into his personal life, Khaira admitted he had gone overboard. “I take back my words of abuse and I will ensure I am more careful in future. But I am also a human being and I too have emotions. Mine was a natural reaction to the conspiracy against me,” he said.

However, he said he would continue to lead protests against Amarinder on the issue of his Pakistani friend saying that he was a public figure and such issues could not be swept under the carpet.

Asked about the way forward after getting a stay order on his trial, the LoP said he had also filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court requesting to re-open his earlier petition in which he had sought a CBI probe into the allegations against him. He also said he would hold a meeting with fellow MLAs to discuss the way forward in the local body elections scheduled later this month. “For the past 20-odd days, I have been caught up in this conspiracy hatched against me but now that I am free of it, I will dedicate my energies towards the party’s prospects in these elections,” he said.

READ | Drug smuggling case: SC stays proceedings against Khaira

Khaira also sounded conciliatory towards those MLAs of AAP who had sought his resignation as the Leader of Opposition when the Fazilka court had issued summons against him. “They are all my brothers and sisters and I hold no grudges against them. I also thank the state unit president Bhagwant Mann for his support to me. He even called me last evening and assured that the party stood behind me,” he said. Mann had also released a statement before the apex court hearing saying that Khaira was a victim of conspiracy and that he would be raising the issue in the coming session of Parliament.

Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) president Simarjit Singh Bains said Khaira getting relief from the apex court was welcome news. “We will continue to expose the Congress and will not be cowed down by their tactics of passing resolutions against us. We will work towards exposing them before the people of the state,” he said.

Bains said the resolution passed against him and his brother was a way to arm-twist him from taking back his application in Ludhiana city centre scam case in which Amarinder is an accused.

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