Senior Supreme Court lawyer HS Phoolka on Saturday announced that he was quitting all posts of the Aam Aadmi Party but clarified that he would remain a member of the AAP.
Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh along with Punjab and Haryana high court lawyer Navkiran Singh, Phoolka said that he had decided to quit active politics by stepping down from AAP posts, including that of spokesperson, to focus on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case that he has been fighting.
“We have decided to make the 1984 genocide an international issue. We will hold a protest during the coming United Nations general assembly session on September 25 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also attending,” Phoolka said.
He said his decision to quit the party posts was taken after a detailed discussion with AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“Kejriwal has always supported me on Sikh-related issues, particularly to get justice for the 1984 genocide victims. I will also contest cases for the AAP as and when the party requires me to,” he added.
Phoolka, who joined the AAP in 2014, contested the Lok Sabha election from Ludhiana that year. He lost to Ravneet Singh Bittu of the Congress by 19,709 votes.
Sees AAP win in 2017 Punjab polls
In an open letter on his Facebook page, Phoolka said that he remained “an inherent of the Aam Aadmi Party” and added that the people of Punjab were fed up with both the Akalis and the Congress as both parties had “virtually destroyed Punjab”.
“The AAP is an alternative that the people have been waiting for and it is inevitable that the party will sweep the 2017 elections in Punjab,” he wrote.
Phoolka added that he wanted to devote time to the ongoing anti-Sikh riot cases against Congress leaders, including Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, so that he could take the cause to a logical conclusion.
He has been spearheading the fight for justice in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in New Delhi. The riots followed the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards and resulted in the killing of 2,733 Sikhs and displacement of over 50,000 members of the community within two days.
Appeals to NRIs
“We appeal to all Punjabis and Indians in America and Canada that on September 25, 2015, when Prime Minister of India attends the UN Assembly in New York, to gather there in large numbers to convey a loud and clear message that we will not forget the genocide of November 1984, no matter how many years pass by, till the culprits are punished. While the UN talks about justice to the victims of other genocides, they need to remember the injustice being meted out to us,” Phoolka wrote in the open letter.