Khaira backs Chhotepur, wants more power for Punjab leaders | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Khaira backs Chhotepur, wants more power for Punjab leaders

Aam Aadmi Party leader Sukhpal Khaira on Sunday defended Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who was sacked as Punjab convener after a ‘cash sting’, and demanded more power for Punjab leaders from the high command.

punjab Updated: Aug 29, 2016 09:51 IST
HT Correspondent
Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Sukhpal Khaira
Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Sukhpal Khaira (HT Photo)

Aam Aadmi Party leader Sukhpal Khaira on Sunday defended Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who was sacked as Punjab convener after a ‘cash sting’, and demanded more power for Punjab leaders from the high command.

“Chhotepur’s unceremonious removal has demoralised party volunteers. It’s very unfortunate. I’m very sad as he is the man who has toiled really hard to establish the party,” said Khaira, an AAP spokesperson, while addressing a press conference here.

“People of Punjab are seeing the AAP as the only remedy for the beleaguered state. I’m also getting a number of mails, calls and messages from the NRIs, who had shown great faith in Kejriwal’s vision for Punjab. They all want more power for Punjab leaders,” Khaira added.

Read: Exit Chhotepur, enter more trouble for AAP: ‘Outsider’ faultline exposed

“I just want to tell party supremos (Kejriwal) that please believe in us. We are here to implement your policies only. But the local leaders can’t achieve this goal if they are ignored and not made part of decision-making,” said Khaira.

Appreciating AAP Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh and national organisational secretary Durgesh Pathak, Khaira said both have played a key role in giving shape to the organisational structure of the party in the state. “They were sent by the party to Punjab when it was hit by infighting. They have done a good job. But now it’s time for them to withdraw a bit and let the people of Punjab, voters and party volunteers feel that it’s their party,” said Khaira, adding that he doesn’t want any post for himself.

Read: Why was Chhotepur silent on Kejriwal’s ‘anti-Sikh’ remarks: Shergil

“The volunteers from Punjab are giving everything to the party. They will get sad if they get the feeling of being ignored,” said Khaira. Khaira said there was possibility of a “conspiracy” against Chhotepur hatched from within the party. “Reports say the sting was a handiwork of some party leaders. I am also hearing that that few more stings have also been performed on other senior leaders as well. If it’s true, it’s the most condemnable thing. Iss ton Kamini te Ghatiya gal koi hor nhi ho sakdi,” said Khaira.

Sucha Singh Chhotepur during the press conference in Chandigarh on Friday. (HT File Photo)

Khaira also claimed that party leaders Kanwar Sandhu and HS Phoolka had met Chhotepur on Friday and urged him to cancel his press conference. “But Chottepur was every upset. He said the corruption charge has left him faceless before relatives, followers and his kids. He looked like a shattered man and said he won’t cancel the press meet,” said Khaira.

Read: Chhotepur rejects probe panel, dares AAP leaders to make sting video public

Tells leadership to rethink on some candidates

Khaira also urged party to rethink on some candidates chosen for assembly segments where volunteers are opposing them. “Party must respect the sentiments of ground workers who were toiling,” he said, admitting that few of his opponents may try to project his opinion on the present crisis as indiscipline. “But I hope party would treat it s a positive feedback and would respect the feelings of volunteers” he said.

Read: Chhotepur row latest on list of AAP fallouts in Punjab: Know the others