After being suspended by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa said he’d now tell Punjab’s people that (party’s national convener) “Arvind Kejriwal has sold the party’s interest in the state to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)”. Talking to HT, he said that the action against Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi and him was designed to spoil the AAP’s chances of winning the Punjab elections in 2017. Excerpts:
HT: How do you react to being suspended from the party?
Khalsa: Nothing shocking. I expected it as soon as in the morning I saw the AAP stage with the pictures everyone else except Gandhi and me. A hint came on August 15, when they held a conference in my constituency without involving me.
Why did you turn a rebel?
Don’t call me a rebel. I work for the volunteers and the original ideology of the AAP. It’s Kejriwal and company who branded us rebels, since we say the truth, which hurts them. Kejriwal wants spineless people around him and Punjabis are not that.
What make you up the ante against the Delhi leadership?
People with moneybags and deep pockets are brought forward, while actual volunteers are being deprived. Some of Kejriwal’s paid leaders want to gag the party’s Punjab leadership.
Did you raise the matterwith Kejriwal?
It’s easier to meet the PM and even alleged inaccessible Congress leaders such as Captain Amarinder Singh than getting an appointment with Kejriwal, who is surrounded by his coterie. From the past three months, I’m after him for time.
Are you saying that Kejriwal and his coterie are work against the party in Punjab?
Otherwise, why is he trying to project leaders of doubtful integrity such as Sucha Singh Chhotepur and Amar’s Singh poster boy Sanjay Singh, and has shaken hands with the SAD and sold the AAP interests in Punjab. Why else would they sack good leaders such as Dr Daljit Singh, professor Manjit Singh, and two MPs?
What’ll be your next step?
Tour Punjab to expose Kejriwal, to tell people not to vote for him, since his promise of a revolution was all a facade. He is power-hungry. Who else would join hands with the tainted Congress and Lalu in Bihar.