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Khaira formally quits AAP; accuses Kejriwal of ‘political opportunism’ 

Chandigarh, January 6

Five months after breaking away from Aam Aadmi Party, Bholath MLA and former Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira today resigned from the primary membership of the party, hinting that he may contest the Bathinda parliamentary seat presently held by Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

He said he would decide whether or not to resign as MLA after consulting his confidants. Sources close to him claimed he intended to take on the Akalis in Bathinda as also Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, who has been nurturing the constituency. 

Khaira said he would announce his candidature if cleared by the new party he was in the process of forming with “like-minded” politicians.

The state AAP reacted sharply, calling Khaira an opportunist. Leader of the Opposition and Dirba MLA Harpal Singh Cheema said the party was taking legal opinion on Khaira’s membership in the Punjab Assembly. “We may write to the Speaker. We are studying the relevant court orders,” he said.

Two days ago, Dakha legislator HS Phoolka too had resigned from AAP, saying he was disillusioned with the party functioning and was considering an Anna Hazare-like movement to usher in change. Phoolka and Khaira have so far not hinted at any collaboration.

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