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AAP dissidents form panel to 'restructure' Punjab unit, trade barbs with MP

AAP dissidents in Punjab today announced their own ad hoc political affairs committee (PAC), saying the panel will restructure the party’s organisation and choose a new president for the state.

PTI 07 Aug 2018, 05:09 PM India

AAP dissidents in Punjab today announced their own ad hoc political affairs committee (PAC), saying the panel will restructure the party’s organization and choose a new president for the state.

The move follows the “volunteers’ convention” held by the rebels in Bathinda on August 2, when they “dissolved” the current organization in the state and declared “autonomy” for the Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab unit.

The dissident group – which claims to be made up of eight of the 20 MLAs in the state – is upset over the national AAP leadership’s decision to replace Sukhpal Singh Khaira as Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly.

The dissidents also traded barbs today with prominent AAP MP Bhagwant Singh Mann who broke his silence over the rebellion in the state unit.

The Sangrur MP, who is also a well-known comedian, accused dissidents Sukhpal Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu of "emotionally blackmailing" party volunteers to "weaken" the AAP.

The dissidents’ political affairs committee includes all the eight rebel MLAs and eight special invitees. They will also be part of an ad hoc state executive, Sandhu said.

The panel will supervise the “reconstitution” of the entire political structure of the state unit, including the appointment of the state president or convenor, he said.

It will also set up the party’s structure at the district, assembly constituency and the block levels.

Once this is done, the ad hoc PAC panel will stand dissolved, he said.

“This is the first step towards the reconstitution of the AAP in Punjab after the party volunteers convention at Bathinda," the rebel MLA said.

The whole process will be in line with the concept of Swaraj as envisaged by the AAP's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, he added.

Meanwhile, Bhagwant Mann, the AAP MP from Sangrur, dared the dissidents to resign as MLAs and form a new outfit.

Reacting to his remarks, Khaira called the parliamentarian a "frustrated, dejected and depressed" leader.

Mann described Khaira and Sandhu as "shrewd manipulators", and said their "nefarious designs" to "weaken" the party would not succeed.

"When Khaira was made Leader of Opposition, he gave a bouquet of flowers to Arvind Kejriwal, Mann said in his first appearance before the media after Khaira’s rebellion.

“When he gets a position in the party it’s democratic when he loses his post then it is called an act of dictatorship," he said.

"Khaira had joined the party when it was already established. I had gone to the streets and villages of Punjab for building the party. Khaira just lives on his Facebook post. He is an 'e-neta'," Mann said.

Khaira described Mann's allegations as "maliciously and utterly false, frivolous and concocted."

Khaira said Mann should have the courage to publicly admit the "secret deal" between AAP and the Congress at the cost of Punjabis, who had supported the MP and the party wholeheartedly.

The dissident's panel includes Sukhpal Khaira (Bholath MLA) Kanwar Sandhu (Kharar), Nazar Singh Mansahia (Mansa), Jagdev Singh Kamalu ( Maur), Baldev Singh (Jaiton), Primal Singh Khalsa (Bhadaur), Jagtar Singh Jagga Hissowal (Raikot) and Jai Krishan Rodi ( Garhshankar).

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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