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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Arvind Kejriwal defends LoP move, slams Bains brothers for insulting Cheema

Simarjeet Bains had referred to Cheema as AAP’s ‘pappu’ (fool).

punjab Updated: Jul 31, 2018 10:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (HT File )

A day after talks with nine defiant legislators failed to end the crisis in the party’s state unit, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday defended the appointment of Dirba MLA Harpal Singh, a Dalit face, as the new leader of opposition (LoP) in the Punjab assembly.

He also slammed Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) MLAs Simarjeet Bains and Balwinder Bains, one-time alliance partners of the AAP, for allegedly insulting the new leader of opposition.

“Bains brothers (as the two MLAs are known) have disgusting views towards the Dalit community. It is extremely shameful. Bains should seek forgiveness from the entire Dalit community. BJP, Congress, Akali Dal and Bains, all have such views. It is against this mindset that the AAP has made a Dalit the new leader of opposition,” Kejriwal posted on Twitter.

Simarjeet Bains had referred to Cheema as AAP’s ‘pappu’ (fool).

His strong defence of Cheema’s appointment in place of Bholath legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira comes after eight party MLAs demanded that the decision should be rescinded immediately. The MLAs, including Kanwar Sandhu (Kharar), Nazar Singh Manshahia (Mansa), Jagdev Singh Kamalu (Maur), Pirmal Singh (Bhadaur), Jagtar Singh Hissowal (Raikot), Master Baldev Singh (Jaitu), Rupinder Kaur Ruby (Bathinda Rural) and Jai Kishan Rori (Garhshankar), have refused to accept Cheema, terming the procedure adopted to remove Khaira “arbitrary and undemocratic”.

Khaira and his supporting MLAs, who have raised a banner of revolt, were called to Delhi on Sunday for a meeting with Kejriwal, but he did not show up, leaving it to his deputy Manish Sisodia, in-charge of party affairs in Punjab, to end the crisis. Both sides remained adamant and failed to make any headway.

The two LIP legislators are staunch supporters of Khaira and have been accused by Punjab unit co-president Balbir Singh of attempts to break the party in the state.

Meanwhile, Khaira, who turned down Sisodia’s request to call off the August 2 “volunteers’ convention”, made an appeal on the social media to all Punjabis to reach Bathinda to espouse the cause of the state. The event is being seen as a show of strength by the Khaira group. Though the state leadership has warned the legislators and workers against attending the convention, Khaira and his supporters are using pictures of all top central and state leaders, including Kejriwal, in their posters for the event.

First Published: Jul 30, 2018 22:27 IST

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