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Vocal approach, proximity to Bains’ brothers led to Khaira’s removal, says Punjab AAP co-president

Khaira and Balbir have been at loggerheads since Khaira criticised Arvind Kejriwal for tendering an apology to Bikram Singh Majithia to settle a drug allegation-related defamation case.

punjab Updated: Jul 28, 2018 11:24 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
Navrajdeep Singh
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Khaira,Aam Aadmi Party,Sukhpal Singh Khaira
AAP state co-president Balbir Singh

PatialaA day after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) removed Sukhpal Singh Khaira from the post of the leader of opposition in the Punjab assembly, state unit co-president Balbir Singh said that Khaira’s ‘vocal approach in handling party issues’ cost him the post.

He added that his proximity with Bains brothers also contributed to the downfall. Balbir, Khaira’s bête-noire in the party, added, “There was huge resentment among party MLAs and workers over Khaira’s style of working.”

Incidentally, Khaira and Balbir have been at loggerheads since Khaira criticised AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal for tendering an apology to SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia to settle a drug allegation-related defamation case. Balbir had also accused Khaira of taking money from party workers.

“Khaira’s indiscipline was one of the larger issues before the high command. Fifteen MLAs had expressed their resentment in writing before senior leaders,” Balbir said, adding that during Khaira’s stint, there had been multiple instances when he opposed party leaders.

“What was the point of sharing the stage and making a public appearance with Lok Insaaf Party chief Simarjeet Bains, when the AAP had parted ways with it. Issues that needed to be discussed within the party forum were exaggerated on videos and on social media,”

Balbir claimed. “These were acts of indiscipline that irked party MLAs, the state leadership and even the national
leaders. They took no time in taking the right decision,” the AAP co-president said,
adding that the party MLAs and the state leadership had been taken into confidence.

Balbir acted as SAD, Cong agent: Khaira

Meanwhile, in his response, Khaira lambasted Balbir, telling HT over phone, “The AAP co-president is not working as a party leader. He worked as an agent of national AAP leaders, and of the Congress and the SAD.”

He added that Balbir had no right to question his style of working or his relationship with the Bains’ brothers. “Balbir is the culprit, who is actually destroying the AAP in the state,” Khaira alleged.

First Published: Jul 28, 2018 11:11 IST