AAP launches impact assessment in Punjab after sacking Chhotepur
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has initiated an impact assessment exercise to find out the fallout of sacking state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur over corruption allegations last week.india Updated: Aug 30, 2016 11:04 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has initiated an impact assessment exercise to find out the fallout of sacking state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur over corruption allegations last week.
The party has also decided to put on hold the appointment of a new Punjab convener to avoid fuelling factionalism in the Punjab unit ahead of assembly elections next year, sources said.
AAP’s Punjab legal cell chief and Mohali candidate HS Shergill was a frontrunner for the post but the party leadership has decided not to fill the slot immediately, sources added. “Bhagwant Mann is the campaign committee chief. At this stage, that is sufficient,” a party leader in New Delhi said.
Leaders in Punjab have been asked by New Delhi to gauge the mood of the people and party workers after reports of “concern and confusion” among the party’s supporters in pockets, over the events related to Chhotepur’s sacking, sources in the poll-bound state confirmed.
The party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) -- which met at AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s house in Delhi -- had removed Chhotepur on August 26 for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe from a ticket seeker.
But hours before he was removed, Chhotepur went on the offensive, charging the party brass with amassing donations without keeping proper accounts or issuing receipts. He also accused Kejriwal of being “anti-Sikh”.
“The AAP made money by organising dinners. A few leaders went abroad and got donations. I was not given a penny to run the office or making travel arrangements,” he had said.
The allegations prompted AAP’s rivals Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal to demand that the party reveal the source of its funds. Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal shot off a letter to Union home minister Rajnath Singh seeking investigations into the “huge amount of money” being received by AAP from “radical elements residing in North America, Europe and Australia.”
The allegations and the subsequent action against Chhotepur also resulted in protests within the party. The former Punjab minister -- who joined the party in 2014 -- and his aides leveled allegations against party in-charge Sanjay Singh and his deputy Durgesh Pathak of discriminating against Punjabis. A senior party leader said the allegations were the outcome of a turf war within the state unit.