Punjab: Poll drubbing sparks dissidence within AAP

A faction of leaders led by senior party leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira have not only demanded a change of observers but are also against the interference by the Delhi leaders.

The Assembly poll results have sparked dissidence in Punjab unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). A faction of leaders led by senior party leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira have not only demanded a change of observers but are also against the interference by the Delhi leaders.

The development comes after the party faced a drubbing in the Assembly elections. A retrospection done by the Punjab leaders has made it clear that the party lost primarily due to the absence of a chief minister's face besides the unwanted interference by the Delhi leaders.

"We will talk to the party leaders after the Delhi MCD elections are over. Many MLAs and other leaders have already brought these issues in public domain," AAP leader from Punjab Sukhpal Singh Khaira told India Today.

A faction led by Khaira is against the interference of Delhi leaders, while another led by HS Phoolka said they did not feel any 'interference'.

TWO FACTIONS, DIFFERENT OPINIONS

"Delhi is not interfering into the Punjab affairs, we take our own decisions ," Phoolka said.

While the party high command is yet to step in, a sizeable chunk of newly elected AAP MLAs believe that the party's prospects were dented by the unwanted intervention by outsiders which continued till the ticket distribution. It is due to the interference that the party faced serious allegations, which in turn lowered its popularity graph.

Local leaders believe that some sycophants (Kejriwal's supporters) kept them in the dark claiming the party's position is strong.

"Punjab results will affect the party's prospects in other states as well. Arvind Kejriwal was being presented as a prime minister face but now the drubbing has dampened the spirits," an AAP leader, who did not want to be named, said.

ALSO READ | After Punjab rout, AAP's newly-elected legislators to meet Kejriwal in Delhi on March 15

ALSO READ | Punjab: AAP questions appointment of 13 government advisors, stages walkout from Assembly