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AAP leader Khaira’s outburst triggers discomfort, but party backs him

AAP leaders are holding the Congress government responsible for Khaira’s sudden outburst, accusing it of “politicising” the drug case.

punjab Updated: Dec 02, 2017 10:30 IST
Navneet Sharma
Navneet Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Sukhpal Singh Khaira,Punjab assembly ruckus,Amarinder Singh
Punjab leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira(HT File)

Punjab leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira’s sudden outburst caused disquiet in a section of the party, but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has rallied behind him and two Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) legislators in the audio clip controversy.

The party leaders, including some of those who were initially against Khaira’s continuation as the leader of opposition in Punjab assembly after summons were issued to him by a Fazilka court, are holding the Congress government responsible for Wednesday’s flare-up, accusing it of “politicising” the drug case.

However, they disapprove of intemperate language used by Khaira after the treasury benches passed a resolution against LIP MLAs Balwinder Bains and Simarjeet Bains who released the audio clip of an alleged bribery bid in a drug case against him. Condemning the “scandalous allegations” made against a judge, the resolution urged the chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court to take suo motu notice and action in the matter.

AAP co-president and Sunam MLA Aman Arora said no one can be comfortable with the kind of language used by Sukhpal (Khaira). “It should not have happened...but it was an emotional outburst. We expressed regret for the way things went right there,” he told Hindustan Times on being asked about the episode, laying the entire blame at the Congress government’s door.

The AAP leader said (chief minister) Capt Amarinder Singh had already spoken about the matter being in the court, but then jumped into it to play politics and got his party to pass a resolution in the assembly. “We are totally behind Khaira and the Bains brothers in this,” he said. Dakha MLA HS Phoolka also termed as “very unfortunate” the kind of comments that were made by both sides. “Such language should not have been used,” said the former leader of opposition.

Another party legislator, who did not want to be named, also has a problem with the invectives spouted by the party leader. “Khaira should have shown restraint. What he was saying was being broadcast live. I am sure he will be careful in future,” said the first-time MLA. Khaira had responded to the assembly resolution with a no-hold-barred attack on the CM, hurling swear words and taking swipes at his private life. AAP MLAs Kanwar Sandhu and Aman Arora, who were sitting beside the leader of opposition, tried to calm him down, but he carried on. Sandhu even apologised on his behalf.

First Published: Dec 02, 2017 10:30 IST