Gurpreet Ghuggi quits AAP; Bhagwant Mann hits back

Says Mann unfit to lead party in Punjab, Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi and Sukhpal Khaira were better choices.

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Struggling with multiple crises in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party came under more pressure in Punjab today as Gurpreet Singh Waraich, popularly known as ‘Ghuggi’ – who was replaced as its Punjab unit convenor by Bhagwant Mann two days ago – resigned from the party.

Ghuggi said he had resigned as the AAP had ditched its ideals. He said he was resigning through the media.

Ghuggi, who was recently replaced by party leader Bhagwant Mann as the state convener, said the leaders who lost the Assembly elections should have voted for the state president’s election.

He said he would stay in politics but not with the AAP.

Ghuggi resigned from the primary membership of the party, expressing displeasure over the process of Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann’s appointment as the new state unit chief.

He said the entire election process of appointing the new state chief was “fake and unfair” and the party adopted a “pick and choose policy” while inviting members for the election to the post.

“I’m resigning from the primary membership with a heavy heart. For Punjab and Punjabiyat whatever needs to be done, I will do that, but this party has deviated from its principles and it has become difficult for me to continue with it,” Ghuggi told reporters here.

The resignation came two days after the party appointed Mann as the new state chief of AAP at a meeting held in Delhi.

Ghuggi had then also questioned the “urgency” of the party leadership in appointing Mann and had asked under “what pressure” was the decision taken.

Taking a dig at the alleged drinking habit of the Sangrur MP, Ghuggi had said if the AAP really wanted to give him the responsibility of the state unit, then it could have waited for at least three months to ensure that he quits drinking.

Waraich was made the state convener in September 2016, replacing Sucha Singh Chhotepur who was sacked from the post on the charge of allegedly accepting money from a party volunteer.

Meanwhile, Bhagwant Mann has expelled Upkar Singh Sandhu from AAP for anti-party activities.

Sandhu, who was the party candidate for Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll, had opposed Mann’s appointment as Punjab AAP chief.

Bhagwant Mann hits back

Hitting back at Ghuggi, the newly appointed chief of the AAP’s state unit said, “He was made the party’s state convener within two months of joining. At that time, selection process was right? Now he raises question about it.”

“I did not expect him to raise question about the selection process when the party has given him so much,” Mann said.

“Today, he says, HS Phoolka or Sukhpal Khaira should have been made the state unit chief instead of me. When he was made the state convener of the AAP, then why did he not propose the names of Phoolka or Khaira. Why he is raising this issue now,” he asked.

“Ghuggi joined the party when it was at the peak and he left it when the party lost the polls,” the Sangrur MP said.

Mann said he had supported Ghuggi after he was made the state convener.