Arvind Kejriwal owes an apology to people of Punjab: Congress minister


In a major development in Punjab's political landscape following the unconditional apology addressed to former minister Bikaram Majithia by Aam Adami Party (AAP) Convener Arvind Kejriwal, both the Punjab unit of AAP and Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) has called of their political alliance in the state.

The defamation suit pertains to statements made on three occasions - the Maghi rally on January 14, 2016 addressed by AAP leaders, including Kejriwal; street-corner meetings by Kejriwal in Amritsar on February 27, 2016 and a press conference at the Chandigarh press club by Khetan and Sanjay Singh on March 30, 2016, in which allegations about Majithia's involvement in the drug trade were levelled.

Sources said a group of AAP legislators, besides alliance partner LIP's Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains, pushed the idea for a separate political entity but the plan hit a roadblock when a section of MLAs insisting that they should not rush into it.

He claimed that Kejriwal's apology only established the fact that the Aam Aadmi Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal had a secret understanding to divide the anti-incumbency votes against the Akalis. "We will also have our own president and own working committee", Sandhu said. Calling off the alliance, the Lok Insaf Party said Kejriwal was a "traitor" and "fraudster" who had "betrayed" Punjabis by issuing the apology, PTI reported. Sandhu, however, said that he would not attend the meeting. With what face will they speak against drugs in Punjab now?

"In best interest of Punjab, my suggestion to Punjab AAP MLAs- demand autonomy, not a separate party. It is like our big leader while showing psychological weakness, has surrendered", Khaira said.

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Earlier, talking to reporters outside his office, Sidhu said, "It is a let down to the people of Punjab".

"We fight for the people on streets".

The Delhi chief minister's apology drew flak from his party's other leaders and MLAs in Punjab, who said they were "stunned" by the move and "disappointed" as Kejriwal had not kept them in the "loop".

The MLA had written to Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia in December.