Chandigarh – With the Punjab Congress spokesman and former MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira set to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fold has left the state unit divided.
Three of the four MPs from Punjab, Dr Dharamvira Gandhi (Patiala), Bhagwant Mann (Sangrur) and Prof Sadhu Singh (Faridkot), are opposed to the move. The fourth MP, Harinder Singh Khalsa (Fatehgarh Sahib), had actively worked for Khaira’s inclusion. Nevertheless, party sources said preparations were on for a function here on March 11 to induct Khaira.
Sucha Singh Chhotepur, AAP state convener, broke the news to media persons in Mohali two days ago.
Mann had even posted his opposition to Khaira’s joining the party on a social networking site. He removed the post on the directions of the party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal, sources claimed. Khaira is yet to resign from the Congress. He declined to comment on the issue. But sources close to him said he was set to resign from the Congress in a few days. Sources said the central leadership of the party had held parleys with the three AAP MPs to convince them on the issue. But they were yet to be fully convinced.
The general feeling was that the MPs and other leaders had worked hard to set up the party in the state and “opportunists” should be kept away.
However, Khaira’s clean image and his opposition to the SAD-BJP government had held him in good stead.
Sources claim that Khaira was set to join the party before the Lok Sabha elections, but the move did not materialise.