14 AAP MLAs stand by Khaira
Chandigarh: Fourteen of the 20 MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today met under the leadership of Sukhpal Singh Khaira and decided to pursue disciplinary action against those MLAs and office-bearers who publicly sought his resignation.The meeting turned out to be a show of strength for Khaira, who is in the eye of the storm due to his summoning by a Fazilka court in an NDPS case.Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains, the two MLAs of the Lok Insaaf Party, the alliance partner of AAP in Punjab, were also present at the press conference and supported Khaira.Fourteen MLAs raised their hands before the media in support of Khaira. Three other MLAs, Kanwar Sandhu, Budh Ram and HS Phoolka, could not attend the meeting, but have voiced support for Khaira.The remaining three, Baljinder Kaur, Kultar Singh and Amarjit Sandoa, have not issued statements in Khaira’s support nor clarified their earlier statements against him.State party convener Bhagwant Mann could not attend the meeting due to his prior commitments in Sangrur. But he has already issued a statement in Khaira’s favour.The meeting empowered state deputy convener and Sunam MLA Aman Arora to inquire the matter. Arora said the party encouraged internal democracy, but no leader was allowed to make public sentiments that hurt party’s image. He said the statements against Khaira by MLAs and office-bearers would be examined before taking action against any leader.Khaira said all party MLAs and leaders were like his family and he agreed that there could be a difference of opinion on various matters, but such matters should remain within the party.Sandhu said in a message to the media: “As I am abroad, I could not attend the meeting. It is important for us all to support Sukhpal in what clearly appears to be a motivated case. I am sure he will come out unscathed. I also hope that the MLA colleagues who spoke out against him earlier desist from doing so in future.”The MLAs later submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, asking him take a stand on the issue of charging water fee from Rajasthan.