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‘Political warfare’ intensifies between AAP, Congress in Punjab

 The “political warfare” between Punjab’s ruling AAP and the Congress reached its crescendo when the state police arrested the latter’s firebrand legislator Sukhpal Singh Khera, a rebel AAP’s leader of opposition, in a 2015 drugs case.

Khaira was constantly exposing AAP Member of Parliament Raghav Chadha’s marriage expensive diamond ring.

“Will @raghav_chadha have the decency to clarify how he managed to gift a 4 Carat very expensive diamond ring to his newly wedded wife @ParineetiChopra (more than 10 times his declared income) while his income according to 2020-21 ITR is merely 2.44 Lacs? While she being a celebrity gifted him with a ring of lesser value? What is the truth? Punjab BADLAV wants to know?-Khaira @INCIndia @INCPunjab,” Khaira questioned Chadha on X, formerly Twitter, just hours before his arrest on Thursday morning.

Reacting sharply over colleague’s arrest, Leader of Opposition Pratap Bajwa said the arrest of Senior Congress Leader and Bolath MLA Khaira is extremely deplorable.

“The @AAPPunjab govt has stooped to an all-time low and resorted to vendetta politics. Sukhpal Singh Khaira has been outspoken and raised his voice against the wrongdoings and irregularities committed by the CM @BhagwantMann’s govt. The Punjab Congress under the ambit of law will leave no stone unturned to get him released,” Congress leader Bajwa, who is on slugfast with Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, wrote on X.

In the morning, a Punjab Police team led by Superintendent of Police Manjeet Singh raided the Chandigarh residence of Khaira around 6am.

The MLA’s son went live on Facebook showing that a team of Punjab Police reached their residence to apprehend Khaira. In the video, Khaira could be seen arguing with the police team and asking them to show him the arrest warrant.

The Bholath legislator could also be seen asking for the identity of the police officers who were part of the raiding team.

He was told by the police officials that he was being arrested in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act case. When Khaira asked the team where he was being taken, a police official told him that he was being taken to Jalalabad in Fazilka.

Khaira said the Supreme Court had already quashed the NDPS case

Khaira’s advocate son Mehtab Singh Khaira said in a statement: “This is to inform you that my father Sukhpal Singh Khaira has been arrested by Punjab police on direct orders of CM Punjab in an eight-year old drugs case. This is the same case which was quashed by the Supreme Court of India. The police have bypassed all procedures and even an order of the Supreme Court to gag the voice of a strong and vociferous leader.

“My father has told me to inform everyone that he is not scared of any false implication and will fight for Punjab till the very end. Truth will prevail.”

Later in the day, Fazlika’s Jalalabad court sent Khaira to police custody till September 30.

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