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Former Youth Akali Dal chief of Patiala district joins Sukhpal Khaira’s AAP group

punjab Updated: Sep 07, 2018 16:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Youth Akali Dal,Aam Aadmi Party,SUkhpal Khaira

Former Youth Akali Dal district president Harmeet Singh Dhillon (left) with AAP’s rebel faction leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira near Patiala on Thursday.(Bharat Bhushan/HT)

Ahead of the block samiti and zila parishad elections, former district president of Youth Akali Dal (YAD) and ex-block samiti chairman Harmeet Singh Dhillon joined the Aam Aadmi Party’s rebel group led by Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira in the latter’s presence on Thursday.

On the sidelines of his visit to Pathanmajra village in Sanaur constituency, Khaira slammed the AAP’s state and national leadership for ignoring party volunteers, “who have worked rigorously for uplifting the party in rural areas”.

Khaira also strongly condemned the decision of AAP national leadership to disband AAP’s overseas units of volunteers.

“The NRIs have stood up with the party in thick and thin since its inception. Be it Delhi or Punjab assembly elections, the overseas volunteers played a pivotal role. But when they are demanding democracy within the party, they have been shown the door by national leaders,” Khaira said.

Following high command’s decision to disband all its organisational units outside the country, at least 43 former office bearers of NRI units in different countries severed their ties with the AAP and have extended support to Sukhpal Khaira and his group.

“The AAP has dumped the Swaraj model, a very basis of the party, and has now resorted to mere dictatorship,” Khaira said.

Over Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann’s statements against him, Khaira challenged Mann to expel him from the party. “Bhagwant Mann has no authority or democratic right to expel me from the party. Mann is giving bizarre and illogical statements against me,” Khaira said.

Lambasting AAP leaders, Khaira said the leaders in the organisational set up, who preferred to work under the high command culture, have failed completely to take up issues concerning the people of Punjab.

“The leaders have failed to corner the government on issues like drugs, law and order, farmer suicide, mining mafia and pollution and others in the past 18 months,” Khaira said.

Meanwhile, Khaira said on the basis of the resolution passed in Bathinda convention last month, they are going to announce new organisational set-up of the state unit soon.

Harmeet’s controversial past

In 2011, Harmeet and his brother Amandeep Singh, former sarpanch of Pathanmajra village, were accused in a case of thrashing a block development and panchayat officer (BDPO) Rajinder Singh at his office. A case was registered against him but he was acquitted later.

Harmeet was then the district president of YAD and was chairman of Bhunerheri Block Samiti, but he was suspended with immediate effect by the state government.

Moreover, Harmeet left SAD and joined the Congress before the last state assembly elections, but later on dumped the Congress too after he was denied a ticket. He contested the assembly elections as an independent candidate and was secured 11, 840 votes.

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 16:00 IST