AAP’s Punjab unit initiates talks with dissenting group to end infighting
The AAP had replaced Sukhpal Khaira with Harpal Singh Cheema as the leader of opposition last month, triggering a revolt by eight out of its 20 MLAs that plunged the state unit into crisis.Updated: Aug 18, 2018 20:24 IST
In a bid to end infighting, the AAP’s Punjab unit’s has initiated talks with the dissident group of legislators led by Sukhpal Khaira.
AAP Dirba MLA and Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema on Saturday said that party legislator Aman Arora held talks with Khaira “to sort out differences”.
“The discussion is at an initial stage and everything will be all right before the Assembly session (to commence on August 24),” Cheema told reporters.
The AAP had replaced Khaira with Cheema as the leader of opposition last month, triggering a revolt by eight out of its 20 MLAs that plunged the state unit into crisis.
To a query, Cheema said the party’s legislative wing had decided to send Aman Arora to hold dialogue with Sukhpal Khaira.
The development assumes significance as the main opposition party AAP is keen to put a united face in the crucial Assemby session, during which Justice Ranjit Singh Commission’s report on sacrilege issue would be tabled.
Punjab Vidhan Session will be from August 24 till August 28.
Cheema asserted that “the unity in the AAP will be visible in the Assembly”.
When contacted, Arora said he held talks with dissidents leaders Khaira and Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu on Thursday.
“I requested both Khaira and Sandhu that first of all we should remove the ill-feeling against each other. I told them that we should avoid using wrong language or words against each on the social media or any public platform,” said Arora.
“Thereafter, whatever the issues they have can be resolved through dialogue,” he said.
Arora said both of them had assured him that nothing of that sort would happen from their side.
The AAP MLA said he had made a similar request to Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann and Cheema.
“It is a baby step,” he said.
When pointed out that Khaira group had asserted that it would not go back on the resolutions passed during August 2 volunteers’ convention at Bathinda, Arora said he had not discarded their issues.
“But everything can be resolved through dialogue only, not through social media,” he stressed.
Dissident MLAs, led by Khaira had declared the party’s Punjab unit “autonomous” and “dissolved” its current organisational structure during the convention at Bathinda. They had accused the central leadership of ignoring their concerns.
Meanwhile, Cheema asserted that Khaira group had no right to dissolve the state unit and expressed the hope that he would be present at the meeting called by the party to prepare strategy for forthcoming assembly session.
“Khaira has not left party. He is a party MLA and he will attend the meeting,” said Cheema.
Cheema also accused the Congress led government of engineering leakage of Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege incidents on social media to allow Akali Dal to prepare its strategy.
First Published: Aug 18, 2018 20:23 IST