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AAP MLA Sukhpal Khaira quits party, hits out at Arvind Kejriwal's 'dictatorial attitude'

Hitting out at Arvind Kejriwal, he said that the AAP chief's 'dictatorial attitude has shattered the dreams of Indians and the Punjabis for a clean alternative to the decayed and rotten system'.

AAP MLA Sukhpal Khaira quits party, hits out at Arvind Kejriwal's 'dictatorial attitude'

NEW DELHI: Over two months after the Aam Aadmi Party suspended rebel leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira for allegedly indulging in "anti-party" activities, the MLA on Sunday resigned from the primary membership of the party. Khaira in his resignation alleged that the AAP has 'totally deviated' from the ideology and principles on which it was formed.

"Unfortunately after joining the party I realised that the hierarchy of AAP was no different from the traditional centralised political parties. The turn of events into the run up of 2017 Punjab elections further confirmed my belief, that there was no inner party democracy. If you remember I had strongly objected to the distribution of tickets for the Punjab assembly, as we had received reports of money exchange, favouritism and nepotism. You also failed to understand the psyche of Punjabi’s due to your overconfidence. You only listened to the two “Subedars” you had appointed to run Punjab and never bothered about the sentiments of AAP volunteers on the ground," he claimed in his resignation letter.

He also said that despite the party's loss in the state elections, the AAP leadership never bothered to hold any person accountable for the 'shameful' defeat.

Hitting out at AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, he said that the Delhi CM's 'dictatorial attitude has shattered the dreams of Indians and the Punjabis for a clean alternative to the decayed and rotten system'. 

Along with Khaira, the AAP had also suspended Kanwar Sandhu from the party. AAP claimed the two had been indulging in "anti-party" activities and continuously attacked the central and state party leadership. Earlier, he was removed from the post of Leader of Opposition. Even during Kejriwal's visit to Chandigarh, he had snubbed Khaira by saying: "My politics is not Sukhpal Khaira. My politics is towards the people of this country. My politics is for a corruption-free India. My politics is for providing good education, setting up hospitals."

Khaira had been leading a group of eight dissident legislators who had revolted against the party after he was removed from the post of the Leader of Opposition in July. Thereafter, they had set up a parallel adhoc political affairs committee. The rebel group has been seeking autonomy for the state unit, which they say was being controlled by the Delhi leadership.

Talks between the rebel group and other AAP leaders of Punjab unit were also held in the past with a view to iron out the differences ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. But the talks "failed" after the rebel group charged the party for unilaterally announcing five candidates for Lok Sabha polls and appointing some district presidents.

Here is the full text of his resignation letter:

Subject :- My resignation from the primary membership of AAP.

Dear Kejriwal ji,

I am constrained to forward my resignation from the primary membership of AAP, as the party has totally deviated from the ideology and principles on which it was formed post Anna Hazare movement.

Needless to mention, the current political culture of traditional parties of the country stands badly decayed, due to which immense hope was generated by the formation of AAP. Like many other people across the globe even I was highly impressed by the emergence of AAP on the political spectrum of India, to cleanse the rampantly corrupt system. Punjabi’s worldwide motivated me to join your party so that we could improve the plight of our country and Punjab.

But unfortunately after joining the party I realised that the hierarchy of AAP was no different from the traditional centralised political parties. The turn of events into the run up of 2017 Punjab elections further confirmed my belief, that there was no inner party democracy. If you remember I had strongly objected to the distribution of tickets for the Punjab assembly, as we had received reports of money exchange, favouritism and nepotism. You also failed to understand the psyche of Punjabi’s due to your overconfidence. You only listened to the two “Subedars” you had appointed to run Punjab and never bothered about the sentiments of AAP volunteers on the ground. By failing to project a Chief Ministerial face in Punjab, you further confounded the oft repeated allegations that an outsider will take over the reins in case of victory. A close perusal of the state history clearly indicates that the Punjabi’s have never accepted the authority of outsiders.

As expected the party crashed to only 20 seats in the Vidhan Sabha from the often boasted 100 seats victory by your “Subedars”. The saddest part is that a party which vouched of transparency and accountability never bothered to hold any person or persons accountable for the shameful defeat. It is a matter of fact, that one of the arrogant Subedars is still running Punjab from behind the curtain despite a huge hue and cry against him.

Your meek apology to the drug tainted former Minister Bikram Singh Majithia further revealed your double standards in politics. Your duplicity on the vital issue of Punjab river waters also puts you on the same pedestal of cunning leaders of India. You have blatantly gone back on the most important promise of Swaraj, by centralising all powers with yourself. You have also thrown to winds the constitution of the party merely to remain Convenor and continue your grip on the party. Your hobnobbing and flirting with the Congress is yet another example of sheer political opportunism, that has left the people of India bewildered.

I am saddened to state that your dictatorial attitude has shattered the dreams of Indians and the Punjabis for a clean alternative to the decayed and rotten system. As a result of which almost all prominent leaders of the party beginning from Prashant Bhushan to Mr. H.S.Phoolka have either quit the party or you have thrown them out. We in Punjab aspire to turn the dream of a clean political alternative into a reality, which is impossible as long as I am a part of your highly centralised high command culture.

Although you have already rewarded our good work by humiliatingly suspending me and Mr. Kanwar Sandhu from the party but still I want to formalise the disconnection with you and AAP, by quitting its primary membership.

Thanking you