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Aam Aadmi Party MLA Harvinder Singh Phoolka quits House over ‘govt inaction’

The Dakha MLA, who was in Delhi, sent his resignation to assembly speaker Rana KP Singh through email and by post.

punjab Updated: Oct 12, 2018 23:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Aam Aadmi Party,MLA Harvinder Singh Phoolka,quits House
Aam Aadmi Party MLA Harvinder Singh Phoolka. (HT File)

Aam Aadmi Party MLA Harvinder Singh Phoolka on Friday resigned from membership of the Punjab assembly to register his protest against the failure of the Congress government to take action former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and retired DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in sacrilege and police firing cases.

The Dakha MLA, who was in Delhi, sent his resignation to assembly speaker Rana KP Singh through email and by post. Rana KP said he has got the resignation letter and would take a call after examining it. “I have stated my reasons for taking this step in the letter. I could not personally hand over because of court hearings in riot cases,” he said.

Phoolka, a Supreme Court lawyer, also gave a copy of the resignation letter to the Election Commission of India. If the first-time MLA’s resignation is accepted, the strength of AAP, the principal opposition party, in the Punjab assembly will come down to 19. Already, eight of the party legislators have turned rebels.

‘Cong govt betrayed people’

The MLA said the Congress government, particularly five of its ministers who spoke during the debate on the Ranjit Singh Commission report in the state assembly, promised action against Badal, Saini and Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, but nothing was done. “The Congress is misusing its majority and has betrayed the people. I have resigned to put pressure on the government,” he said.

On being asked if he would contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha election, Phoolka, who was the AAP nominee from Ludhiana in the 2014 parliamentary poll, said he had not made up his mind. Punjab AAP state co-president Dr Balbir Singh said this was his (Phoolka’s) personal, emotional decision and he had informed the party leadership.

Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira, who is heading the AAP rebels, said Phoolka did not any consultation them, but they respected his feelings. Asked if he and other party MLAs supporting him were also considering quitting their seats to put pressure on the state government, Khaira said people elected MLAs to the assembly to take up their issues. “It is a platform where you can fight against all types of injustice. If you quit, what can you do for them thereafter,” he said.

Phoolka had first talked about his resignation on September 1, giving 15 days to the government act against the duo. He later deferred his resignation as the high court stayed the proceedings initiated by the state government against three former cops in the matter.

The one-man commission was set up by the present government to investigate the various incidents of sacrilege of religious texts and firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in 2015. Last year, Phoolka had resigned as the leader of opposition to focus on the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases in Delhi courts.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 23:44 IST