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Published On: Fri, Mar 16th, 2018

Upset Punjab unit Chief Bhagwant Mann resigns AAP’s state chief.

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CHANDIGRAH/ NEW DELHI : Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal appears to have taken a step back from his past brand of combative politics by settling the defamation case initiated by former Punjab minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia. Punjab AAP
After Kejriwal tendered a written apology to Majithia for alleging the latter was involved in drug trade in Punjab, the SAD leader said he would withdraw his defamation suit against the chief minister. However, the move has upset the party’s Punjab unit, with Bhagwant Mann resigning as the AAP’s state chief. Kejriwal still has to contend with a defamation suit filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, among other cases. Kejriwal withdrew his allegations and an application regarding this was filed in a trial court in Amritsar, where the defamation case filed by Majithia against the AAP supremo on May 20, 2016, is being heard.
“In the recent past, I made certain statements and allegations against you regarding your alleged involvement in drug trade. These statements became a political issue. Now, I’ve learnt that the allegations are unfounded,” Kejriwal said, adding: “Hence, there should be no politics on such issues. I hereby withdraw all my statements and allegations made against you and apologise for the same.”
Reacting to the development on Twitter, senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas said, “I have been regularly dropping my shows to attend several court hearings related to 2013, 2014 and 2015 poll campaigns without any legal assistance from AAP. Another one pending tomorrow and I have been again engaging my personal lawyers for this. Will carry on this fight. Jai Hind (sic)”.
Kejriwal apologises to Majithia; AAP’s Punjab leaders say ‘meek surrender’ Responding to this development, Majithia said that he had accepted the apology. “I thank Kejriwal for showing greatness in seeking apology for his remarks made against me. I have told my lawyers that from our side, this case ends as Kejriwal has sought apology…,” he said.
However, not everybody in Kejriwal’s party was in sync with the chief minister’s decision. He drew flak from leaders in the AAP Punjab unit for his move. Meanwhile, Delhi AAP leaders hinted that a similar apology might be issued in a bid to end the defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley, too.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party’s senior leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Friday said that by apologising to Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia in a drugs trade case, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has shown his mental weakness and surrendered. This is not acceptable to the party MLAs in Punjab, Mr. Khaira told journalists in Chandigarh.
“We feel Mr. Kejriwal should not have apologised. Party volunteers across the State are feeling disappointed,” he said.”Nothing matters for us more than Punjab. And in our today’s meeting, we will take a decision, keeping in view the sentiments of volunteers and people of Punjab,” he said.
The party would take take a call on whether to accept the resignation of AAP State president Bhagwant Mann or not.
Earlier on Friday, Mr. Mann said on Twitter that he was resigning from his post and that he would fight against the drug mafia and all kind of corruption in Punjab as an “Aam Aadmi.”Following Mr. Mann’s resignation,, co-president Aman too submitted his resignation.
“Due to painful turn of events yesterday, please accept my resignation from the post of Co-President,” he said in a tweet to Manish Sisodia, who is in charge of party affairs in Punjab.Sidhu on Friday said that the Special Task Force (STF) had found evidence against former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia in the drug trade. Addressing media at his residence here, Sidhu said the Punjab government cannot ignore STF report which pointed out role of Majithia in the drug trade. “STF has clearly said that there is substantial evidence of the role of Bikram Singh Majith. ( With Agency Inputs ).

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