Virtually raising a banner of revolt against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal, party MPs from Punjab - Dr Dharamvira Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa - on Friday described Kejriwal as a dictator and said he was behaving like Indira Gandhi of Emergency days.
Gandhi and Khalsa also dropped enough hints that they may opt to break away from the faction-ridden beleaguered party. Gandhi, who represents the Patiala Lok Sabha constituency, said he has been raising genuine issues and dared Kejriwal to act against him.
"The party's state unit is facing an Emergency-like period. People, who speak the truth or talk about the original ideology of the party, are being shown the door…Kejriwal is behaving like Indira Gandhi (of Emergency). Either go with me or get out. This is not acceptable to me," thundered Gandhi.
"AAP volunteers are feeling disillusioned and disheartened. We can't betray them. So, we have decided to oppose this dictatorial attitude of the high command," said Khalsa.
AAP's all four Lok Sabha MPs are from Punjab. While Bhagwant Mann, who represents Sangrur, is openly siding with Kejriwal, Gandhi has been openly criticising the party convener after he expelled senior leaders Shanti Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. Now, Fatehgarh Sahib MP Khalsa has joined Gandhi to launch a blistering attack on Kejriwal. Party's Faridkot MP Sadhu Singh, who is in Canada on a personal visit, is yet to declare his stand.
"I will speak for the common man and our volunteers. We won't budge in front of the whims and fancies/dictatorship of so-called 'high command' (Kejriwal)," said Gandhi, flaying the expulsion of Dr. Daljeet Singh-the party's disciplinary committee head.
On possibility of forming a new outfit, Gandhi and Khalsa said: "Everything is possible in politics. We have to pursue AAP's original ideology. It's tragic that the party which talks about federalism is bent upon suppressing democracy."
Khalsa claimed he had met Kejriwal, but he didn't offer any solution. "We have to prepare for the 2017 elections. We have to pick local leaders. After all, migrants from UP can't be fielded here to contest elections. Who is Sanjay Singh to pass judgments? The central leadership must not forget that Punjab has been a saving grace for the party that has won four seats here. Otherwise, the AAP would have vanished," he said.