Will not take back post of AAP Punjab chief: Mann
Chandigarh: A day after party chief Arvind Kejriwal sought to reach out to Punjab leaders over his apology to former Akali minister Bikram Majithia, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann refused to resume the post of state party president. Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira, meanwhile, supported the call for unity, but maintained that he and other senior leaders were not consulted on important issues. Mann, who resigned as state party president over Kejriwal’s apology, said he would not withdraw his resignation or work on any other post. He told The Tribune: “I am deeply hurt and still in shock. I can’t believe Kejriwalji did not deem it fit to consult me or other leaders before taking such an extreme step. There cannot be reconciliation on the issue of drugs and the alleged involvement of politicians. I will rather choose to work as a member of the party than run after any post.” Mann said he had the support of people even before he joined AAP. “People have brought me here and people will decide my fate and decisions,” he added.Khaira said the crisis in the party, if any, was not created by him or Punjab MLAs. He said he and other MLAs had just discussed that they should have been consulted, but certain “snitchers” blew the issue out of proportion.Khaira said being a democratic party, he and others had every right to express their views, but it was disappointing that even for the selection of core committee and office-bearers of the state unit, he was not consulted. “I had sent names of six persons to keep the core committee small for effective functioning, but a 21-member committee was announced without consulting us,” he said.Bhagwant Mann refused to comment on the issue. However, sources close to him claimed he had a meeting with Khaira when the names were finalised. “All six persons suggested by Khaira were included in the 21-member core committee. Other names were recommended by the state unit and national leadership,” sources said.Meanwhile, Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu insisted on autonomy for the state unit. In a message, he said he had written a letter to Kejriwal earlier, seeking autonomy.