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Punjab AAP virtually headless, no call on leaders’ resignations

Bhagwant Mann and Aman Arora, the two top party functionaries in the state, had quit their posts about four weeks ago to register their protest against Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to Bikram Singh Majithia.

punjab Updated: Apr 10, 2018 19:14 IST
Navneet Sharma
Navneet Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab AAP,Arvind kejriwal,Bhagwant Mann
Delhi Cm and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal(HT File)

With the clock ticking towards the Shahkot assembly byelection, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab is still to take any decision on the resignations of its state unit president Bhagwant Mann and his deputy Aman Arora.

Mann and Arora, the two top party functionaries in the state, had quit their posts about four weeks ago to register their protest against AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia for alleging his involvement in drug trade.

The two leaders have not been discharging their duties as the state unit president and co-president ever since they announced their resignations on March 16. Mann is Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur, whereas Arora represents Sunam constituency in the state assembly.

Though several party MLAs and other leaders have made requests to Kejriwal and Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, in-charge of party affairs in Punjab, to reject the resignations, the leadership has not yet conveyed its view on the matter. It has neither rejected the resignations nor named their successors. Both Mann and Arora have also refused to take back their resignations. Arora, who is travelling abroad, said he has not heard anything from the party leadership on this. “I didn’t give my resignation to take it back. It is their call what they want to do with it,” he said.

AAP co-president Dr Balbir Singh said the resignations of Mann and Arora are pending with the political affairs committee (PAC) of the party. “The zonal presidents also requested the party leadership to turn down the resignations. The leadership has to take the call,” he said.

Dr Singh, who was elevated from the position of vice-president last month amid crisis caused by the apology, is running the state unit in absence of any decision. He was the AAP candidate against Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh (now the state chief minister) from the Patiala constituency and has been given the responsibility of expansion of organisational structure of the party.

Besides the two resignations, several MLAs had also openly revolted against Kejriwal for apologising on the drug issue that was the core theme of the party’s campaign in the state elections and even discussed the possibility of breaking away from the party. AAP’s alliance partner Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), which has two MLAs, also snapped ties. The two parties had contested the state polls together.

First Published: Apr 10, 2018 19:14 IST