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Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira defiant, Punjab Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hinting a split

Chandigarh, July 31: With ousted Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira remaining defiant over holding a meet of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and workers in Bathinda on Thursday, the Punjab unit of the AAP could well be headed for a split.

Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader and Punjab in-charge Manish Sisodia has already issued a warning to AAP legislators in the state and other leaders to stay away from the AAP convention called by Khaira and his group in Bathinda. Even though Sisodia and the AAP central leadership is unwilling to say that disciplinary action would be taken against legislators and other leaders attending the Bathinda meet, sources in the party said on Tuesday that strict action could follow.

“By terming our August 2 meet as anti-party activity Sisodia has vindicated our charge of dictatorial attitude, if we Punjabis cannot hold a simple meeting on our soil then how will we safeguard the interests of Punjab? “The AAP meet at Bathinda will settle the issue for once and all,” a defiant Khaira tweeted on Tuesday.

“I urge all the brave Punjabis to attend our AAP Convention at Bathinda… at Woods Resort Dabbwali road to espouse the cause of our state,” Khaira added.

Khaira was removed as Leader of Opposition (LoP) by the Aam Aadmi Party central leadership last week, leading to an internal upheaval within the party’s legislators.

The Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the main opposition in Punjab in the March 2017 assembly election, winning 20 seats in the 117-member assembly. This was the party’s first outing in the assembly polls and it was able to relegate the formidable Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance, which ruled Punjab for 10 years (2007-2017) to the third position. (IANS)