Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Dr Daljit Singh, who was entrusted with the task of maintaining discipline within the Punjab unit of the party, has been expelled from the party on charges of indulging in anti-party activities and causing damage to the party.
The action taken against Dr Singh by the central leadership of the party was conveyed to him on Thursday by Pankaj Gupta, the national chairman of the party’s disciplinary committee.
The expulsion follows closely on the heels of the show-cause notice issued to Dr Singh on July 11 by the party’s central leadership. In the notice, he was charged with indulging in anti-party activities and utterances and damaging the party’s image. He was also accused of trying to bring disrepute to the senior party leadership by making false and malicious allegations.
In his reply, Dr Singh had denied the allegations of anti-party activities and attempts to weaken the party. He, however, made it clear that there was no question of his backing out of his demand for the removal of Sucha Singh Chhotepur, the Punjab convenor of the party, and national secretary Sanjay Singh.
“Chhotepur and Sanjay Singh have caused a great deal of damage to the Punjab unit and my demand for their removal was genuine. In fact, the removal of the two would strengthen AAP in the state,” he said while reacting to his expulsion.
Talking to the media at his house, he regretted that sincere and genuine workers of the party were being sidelined in Punjab at the behest of Chhotepur and Sanjay Singh. Ruffians were being brought to the fore, thereby causing damage to the party and resentment among sincere workers, he added.
“Attempts are being made in AAP to control the Punjab unit of the party from Delhi. In such situations, the problem was bound to crop up,” he said.
Asked if Chhotepur or Sanjay Singh were to blame for his expulsion, Dr Singh said, “In my capacity as head of the state unit’s disciplinary committee I may have annoyed some through my actions. So those who felt the pinch were keen to oust me and they have succeeded.”
Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, a supporter of Dr Singh, had criticised the show-cause notice issued to him. Dr Gandhi, too, has not been on the best of terms with Chhotepur and Sanjay Singh and had charged the former of ignoring honest workers and adjusting political figures from other parties into the state unit of AAP.
Dr Singh, a noted ophthalmologist, had joined AAP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls last year. A Padma Shri awardee, he contested the Lok Sabha elections on the AAP ticket from Amritsar and finished third behind Capt Amarinder Singh and Arun Jaitley.
Asked about his future plans, Dr Singh said, “I may have been expelled but won’t ask my workers or supporters to leave the party. They must stay and strengthen the party. However, I have no intentions of joining another party.”