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Drug case: HS Phoolka non-committal on backing Sukhpal Khaira

Senior AAP leader Phoolka says he only wants to focus on development of his constituency.

punjab Updated: Nov 25, 2017 20:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
AAP,Sukhpal Khaira,HS Phoolka
Senior AAP leader HS Phoolka addressing media at Press club in Chandigarh on Saturday.(Sikander Singh/HT)

When he gave up the post of leader of opposition in the assembly “to devote more time to fight court cases of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims”, senior Supreme Court advocate and Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Dakha , HS Phoolka, had taken a high moral ground.

And he had endorsed Sukhpal Singh Khaira as his replacement.

But, as Khaira faces his worst political crisis owing to summons in a drug case by a Fazilka court, Phooka, now in political wilderness, has again taken the high moral ground.

He remains non-committal on backing Khaira, saying he only wants to focus on development of his constituency.

“The matter is in court. Let the law take its own course. I am nobody to comment on a matter that is sub judice. The party has to take a call on the issue and, whatever stand the party takes, will be my stand,” was Phoolka’s reply to questions at a press briefing here to project some welfare initiatives taken by him in his segment.

The former leader of opposition is making the right noises as he has lost relevance in state politics after giving up the post. Khaira, with his firebrand politics and penchant for unearthing scoops against political opponents, has made the AAP effectively a one-man show in Punjab. That’s something even AAP state president Bhagwant Mann and co-president Aman Arora resent, it is learnt.

With support of ally Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) — which has two MLAs in the equally combative Bains brothers of Ludhiana — Khaira had been revelling in his brand of politics until the summons came.

While the SAD-BJP may make the most of the assembly session that starts Monday to corner Khaira; and the Congress too may make some noise; Phoolka skipped Friday’s meet where AAP-LIP MLAs chalked out their strategy to counter the attacks,

Phoolka explained his absence by saying, “Whatever stand the party would take inside the assembly session, I would go by it.”

He was also earlier absent from a press conference held by Khaira along with AAP MLAs to show solidarity with him.

“I have confined myself to my constituency and the cases of 1984 riots. I am travelling only between Delhi and Dakha. As far as making strategies for political issues is concerned, many other MLAs are experts in it. I hardly have any time for that,” said Phoolka. The battle for succession within the AAP is on, and Phoolka may not mind regaining the lost plot.

First Published: Nov 25, 2017 20:44 IST