AAP Punjab Leader Resigns From Party, Second To Quit In A Week

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Sukhpal Khaira has alleged that AAP has "totally deviated" from the ideology it was based around.

New Delhi:

Punjab legislator Sukhpal Khaira on Sunday resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party, making him the second leader from the state to leave the party in a week. Mr Khaira's resignation comes two days after senior leader HS Phoolka quit AAP.

Mr Khaira, who sent his resignation to Arvind Kejriwal, has alleged that AAP has "totally deviated" from the ideology and principles on which it was formed post the Anna Hazare movement, news agency ANI said.

Interestingly, HS Phoolka had also claimed that the party was not following the political ideology that it was based around. "Converting anti-corruption movement into a political party in 2012 was wrong. Political parties had to listen to us. Now we need a doosri (second) Anna movement, a parallel force that isn't scared to call a spade a spade," he said a after leaving the party.

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The AAP was formed in 2012 by Arvind Kejriwal and others following the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare.

But unlike Mr Phoolka, Mr Khaira has had an uneasy relationship with the AAP leadership. Last year, in November, he was suspended from the party after he criticised Arvind Kejriwal for apologizing to Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia for calling him a "drug lord" in the run-up to last year's assembly elections in Punjab.

In July, the AAP leadership removed Mr Khaira as the leader of the opposition in the Punjab assembly and replaced him with Dirba legislator Harpal Singh Cheema. A few days after being removed, Mr Khaira declared the Punjab AAP unit's "autonomy" from its central leadership and announced a volunteers' convention, which was attended by eight out of 20 AAP legislators in Punjab besides a large number of party workers.

Mr Khaira has also accused Mr Kejriwal of "putting Haryana before Punjab" on the Sutlej-Yamuna link canal issue.

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