Aam Aadmi Party’s Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann has said he is consulting his lawyers to file a defamation case against suspended AAP MPs Dr Dharamvira Gandhi (Patiala) and Harinder Singh Khalsa (Fatehgarh Sahib).
“Both levelled a baseless allegation against me that I had attended Parliament when drunken. They did it to defame me and the party,” Mann said on Saturday here. Dr Gandhi and Khalsa were suspended for alleged anti-party activities.
Laying the rumours to rest, Mann has denied that national convener Arvind Kejriwal will the AAP’s chief ministerial candidate in Punjab in 2017. Mann made it clear that “the central leadership will make this choice with the consent of the state AAP volunteers”; and, so far, there was no plan to make Kejriwal quit as Delhi CM and run for this seat in Punjab. “Kejriwal will be the face of our campaign, but the CM candidate will be from Punjab,” he said.
The Delhi CM will canvass for party for almost six months in Punjab, said the MP. Replaying a question on his own candidature as CM candidate, he said: “Everyone wants elevation. However, I will abide by the party decision. We decided not to contest the Khadoor Sahib by-election to first build up our hierarchy at the grass-roots level.”
Taking on the state government, Mann said “the Akali misrule has pushed the state into debt trap, from which only an honest government can bail it out by checking tax evasion and brining new industry”. The MP was here to promise support to jobless youth who are through in the Punjab Subordinate Service Selection Board written test and awaiting appointment letters.
Mann said that he will raise the issue of these “unemployed clerks” in Parliament, as their job letters are withheld because of a University Grants Commission (UGC) condition that doesn’t allow universities to open distance education centres out of their states.