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Unruffled by resignations, Punjab AAP co-chief makes more appointments

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state unit co-president Dr Balbir Singh appointed new general secretaries and district chiefs as well as assigned duties to 14 other office-bearers in the state.

punjab Updated: Jul 17, 2018 09:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
AAP,Dr Balbir Singh,Manish Sisodia
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state unit co-president Dr Balbir Singh.(HT file)

A day after 16 party leaders resigned from their posts to show their protest against some “arbitrary decisions”, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab unit co-president Dr Balbir Singh on Monday appointed new general secretaries and district chiefs as well as assigned duties to 14 other office-bearers in the state.

He appointed three new general secretaries, district presidents of Jalandhar rural and Tarn Taran, and halka in-charges of Khemkaran, SBS Nagar and Chabbewal, besides appointing 14 state general secretaries as observers of 40 assembly segments in the state. The appointments were made hours after 16 party leaders, including six district chiefs, had sent a joint resignation to Delhi deputy chief minister and in-charge of Punjab affairs Manish Sisodia against the state co-president’s style of functioning and decisions, including removal of advocate Gian Singh Mungo from the post of Patiala rural district chief.

Brushing aside their allegations, Balbir Singh said he was making changes to try and prepare the party for the coming panchayat and parliamentary elections. “When I took charge, 27 state unit general secretaries and seven vice-presidents had no work and 60 assembly segments had no observers. I asked them to give their preferences and I am now assigning them areas so that they give impetus to party activities there,” he said, signalling more appointments in coming weeks.

Singh said there were office-bearers or district in-charges who did not have time to undertake party work or were abroad for a long period of time. “We cannot let this affect the party. Only such people are protesting,” he added.

The new appointments and the co-president’s statement are likely to rile the disgruntled leaders further even as leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira and some other MLAs have urged them to meet Sangrur MP and state party chief Bhagwant Mann to voice their concerns.

Bhapinder Singh Bittu and Harjinder Singh Seechewal will be the new districts chiefs of Tarn Taran and Jalandhar Rural, whereas Raman Kumar, Tajinder Pal Singh and Vijay Gill have been appointed general secretaries at the state level.

BRING BACK GANDHI, KHALSA: PHOOLKA

Dakha MLA HS Phoolka said the party should try to bring back Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi and Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa into its fold. “They are both senior people. Gandhi is doing very good work. Efforts should be made to pave way for their return,” he said, refusing to comment on the latest trouble in the faction-ridden party.

Gandhi and Khalsa were suspended from the primary membership of the AAP for alleged “indiscipline and anti-party activities” about three years ago. In May, some other party leaders had also favoured revocation of their suspension.

First Published: Jul 16, 2018 21:46 IST