Sucha Singh Chhotepur continues to be Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) Punjab convener despite all four party MPs’ opposition to his style of working.
The state executive committee, of which the MPs are members, had on May 9 claimed to have passed a resolution to remove Chhotepur from the post. But a day later, Sanjay Singh, AAP political affairs incharge of Punjab, denied any such development.
Sanjay’s denial left AAP MPs red-faced, since all had been accusing Chhotepur of working in an unconstitutional manner.
The executive committee meeting was attended by Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa, Faridkot MP Sadhu Singh and senior party leader Daljit Singh, while Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann was in touch through teleconferencing. The committee also wrote to AAP national convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to appoint a new convener for Punjab.
“We removed him (Chhotepur) constitutionally. We fail to understand why he has been ‘re-appointed’,” said Khalsa.
When asked about taking up the matter with Kejriwal, Khalsa said, “He (Kejriwal) knows it all. The mystery over the issue would be cleared soon.”
This is not the first time that the AAP MPs have questioned Chhotepur’s functioning. On April 6, during a meeting with workers and volunteers, they had apprised Sanjay Singh of Chhotepur’s efforts to induct leaders and workers from other parties into the AAP without taking the national and state executives committees in the loop.
He was also accused of not holding a single meeting of the state executive in the past nine months, even though the party’s constitution states that such meetings should be held twice a month.
Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi, who skipped from the May 9 meeting, said it was unfortunate that the party was suffering due to the clash of personalities.
“There is turmoil all around and several groups are working separately in the party’s name. The AAP need a strong face who can lead the party in the 2017 assembly elections. The incumbent convener has failed to build that image,” Gandhi said.
Sadhu Singh said Chhotepur was removed in a constitutional manner after getting feedback from people about the working of the state convener and the need for a change of guard in Punjab.
Talking to HT, Bhagwant Mann said: “People are satisfied with the AAP, but we need someone who can keep the party united.”
Chhotepur could not be contacted, but on his Facebook wall, he dismissed reports about his removal as rumours.
“I would request all my volunteers (that) such news are only rumours. Keep working hard for the organisation of AAP Punjab,” he wrote on FB.