Congress, SAD trying to sabotage protest march in Kotkapura:  AAP rebel MLA Sukhpal Khaira
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Congress, SAD trying to sabotage protest march in Kotkapura: AAP rebel MLA Sukhpal Khaira

Khaira said both Congress and Akalis fixed their rallies in Lambi and Patiala on the same day several like-minded groups and individuals have planned to hold a ‘people’s march’ from Kotkapura to Bargari.

punjab Updated: Sep 26, 2018 11:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Congress,SAD,AAP
Sukhpal Khaira (HT File )

The rebel Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders led by Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday accused the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of making an attempt to torpedo the October 7 protest march in Faridkot being held to force the state government to take action against those responsible for the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing incidents.

Khaira said both Congress and Akalis fixed their rallies in Lambi and Patiala on the same day several like-minded groups and individuals have planned to hold a ‘people’s march’ from Kotkapura to Bargari.

“These two parties are conspiring to deliberately undermine the protest and deny justice to victims of police action in 2015. We appeal to people to give them a befitting reply,” he alleged at a press conference. Khaira was accompanied by dissident AAP MLAs Kanwar Sandhu, Nazar Singh Manshahia, Jagdev Singh Kamalu, Baldev Singh and Pirmal Singh.

The AAP rebels had announced the protest march to press their demand for registration of an FIR against former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief Sukhbir Badal and former director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini. The announcement was made after an ‘all-party’ meeting on September 21 on the issue of sacrilege incidents.

5-member panel for talks with state AAP

Khaira said a five-member committee has been constituted to resolve differences with the state unit of the AAP. He said the committee comprising Kanwar Sandhu, Manshahia, Baldev Singh, Kamalu (MLAs) and Suresh Sharma will hold talks to sort things out.

“AAP leaders keep giving statements about reaching out to those who are upset with the state of affairs in the party. This is just propaganda and no one has contacted us for a dialogue. We

are open to talks but will not compromise on khudmukhtyari (autonomy) and other demands,” Khaira said. Two months ago, eight of the 20 party MLAs had staged a revolt against the

AAP leadership after Khaira was fired from the post of leader of opposition (LOP).

Dirba MLA Harpal Singh Cheema, who replaced Khaira as leader of opposition, welcomed the rebel group’s move to constitute the committee.

“We want to unite the party and work for Punjabis. There is no fight. I have said Khaira is my elder brother. I want to meet him,” he said.

Assembly session demanded on farmer’s issues

Sandhu said they have written an ‘open letter’ to the chief minister to demand a special session of the state assembly to discuss issues of farmers and farm labour, including suicides, debt relief and state policy for farmers.

“Be it the incidents of the religious sacrilege, farm debt waiver, farmer suicides, jobs for all or issues relating to employees, the common rant all over the state is the complete inaction, indifference and paralysis of the Captain Amarinder Singh government. Instead of showing results, you are now engaging in a game of competitive rallies with the SAD. Do Governments hold rallies?” he said, releasing the letter signed by several rebel group leaders.

The Kharar MLA demanded compensation of Rs 20,000 per acre for the farmers whose crops had been damaged due to unseasonal rains during the last three days. “Another decision has been taken to revive all 43 NRI chapters of the AAP abroad,” he added. These chapters were disbanded by AAP’s Overseas Convener Prithvi Reddy three weeks ago.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 10:38 IST