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Punjab AAP leader HS Phoolka quits party, says Arvind Kejriwal didn’t want him to go

The lawyer said he will be holding a press conference in Delhi at 4 pm on Friday to explain the reason for his resignation.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2019 23:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
HS Phoolka,AAP,resigns
Senior advocate HS Phoolka (R) is seen at Patiala House Court in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Punjab Aam Aadmi Party leader and anti-Sikh riots lawyer, Harvinder Singh Phoolka has resigned from the party, he said on Twitter on Thursday, adding that he had handed over his resignation to AAP chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“I have resigned from AAP & handed over resignation to Kejriwal ji today. Though he asked me not to resign but I insisted,” he posted on Twitter.

The lawyer said he will be holding a press conference in Delhi at 4 pm on Friday to explain the reason for his resignation.

“Will be briefing media tomorrow at 4pm at Press Club, Raisina Rd, New Delhi to explain the Reason of leaving AAP & my further plans,” he said.

Phoolka has led the legal fight for justice for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, taking up cases against several Congress leaders accused of involvement despite the government cover-up.

He had joined AAP in January 2014 and contested in the Lok Sabha elections that year from Ludhiana on a party ticket, but lost to Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu.

His resignation, which is being seen as a setback for the AAP, came on a day Kejriwal held a meeting with 1,500 party leaders and office-bearers from Punjab to chalk out a strategy for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. AAP leaders in Punjab, where the party has been grappling with internal feuds, seemed reluctant to give their reaction. “I do not know why he quit. Let’s wait for his statement,” said AAP legislature party leader Harpal Singh Cheema.

Voted to the Punjab assembly from Dakha, Phoolka had in July 2017 quit as the leader of opposition to fight the anti-Sikh riots cases.

Though his resignation from the state assembly has not yet been accepted, Phoolka will cease to be a member as he has quit the party from which he was elected. It will also pave way for a bypoll in his constituency.

He had then said that he would quit AAP if it joins hands with the Congress. He made it clear here that any understanding with the Congress party would amount to giving a clean chit to the alleged “perpetrators” of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

“I shall be the first person to quit the Aam Aadmi Party if and when it joins hands with the Congress (either) in a direct or indirect manner,” Phoolka said.

First Published: Jan 03, 2019 19:46 IST