AAP accused Sukhpal Khaira of trying to weaken the party. (File)
Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused former AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who resigned from the party on Sunday, of "trying to weaken" the party and asserted it will "be strengthened" with his exit.
Mr Khaira, an MLA in Punjab who had already rebelled against the party, resigned from its primary membership alleging the AAP had "totally deviated" from the ideology and principles it was formed on.
The rebel leader has been a vocal critic of the AAP leadership since he was removed as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Assembly in July last year.
Mr Khaira was suspended from the AAP in November last year for indulging in "anti-party" activities.
"Mr Sukhpal Khaira's resignation was expected. The party will be strengthened with his exit. He shuld now resign from MLA also, which he won on party ticket. Mr Khaira started revolting against party since post of LoP in Punjab was given to a Dalit leader (sic)," Mr Sisodia posted on Twitter.
He also accused the leader of trying to weaken the party. "AAP will keep working for poor and marginalised people. Those who have problem in this can leave the party. Mr Khaira was trying to weaken party and was openly revolting against the party since then.
"He tried to break party. Which organization can tolerate such behaviour? @ArvindKejriwal ji always says that those who have come for position or power shuld leave the party. He was always clamouring for position and power (sic)," he posted on the microblogging site.
The 53-year-old Khaira, a former Congressman who had joined the Aam Aadmi Party in December 2015 — nearly a year before the last Punjab assembly polls, sent his resignation to AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal.
"I am constrained to forward my resignation from the primary membership of AAP as the party has totally deviated from the ideology and principles on which it was formed post the Anna Hazare movement," the Bolath MLA said in his resignation letter, copies of which have been released to the media.
"Although you have already rewarded our good work by humiliatingly suspending me and Kanwar Sandhu from the party but still I want to formalise the disconnection with you and AAP, by quitting its primary membership," Mr Khaira said.
Mr Sandhu was suspended in November last year along with Mr Khaira. The AAP, which was billed as a strong contender to wrest power from Punjab''s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition in 2017 assembly polls, managed to win just 20 seats in the 117-member state assembly.