Sukhpal Singh Khaira Faces Wrath of AAP Top Brass Over Punjab Referendum 2020 Comment
The AAP clarified its position, distancing itself from Khaira and said it was a party that believed firmly in the Constitution and did not directly or indirectly support Referendum 2020, which was reportedly floated by Canada-based pro-Khalistani outfits.
Sukhpal Singh Khaira. (Facebook)
New Delhi: Senior AAP Punjab leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira bore the wrath of AAP's top leadership on Wednesday after he was lambasted by Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia and ignored by party chief Arvind Kejriwal following his alleged comments supporting the Punjab Referendum 2020.
Khaira, the leader of opposition in the Punjab Legislative Assembly, met Sisodia at the latter's residence in Delhi on Wednesday. Speaking to News18 after the meeting, Khaira said he “clarified” his position on the Punjab Referendum 2020.
Last week, Khaira had allegedly said: "I support the Sikh referendum 2020 movement as Sikhs have the right to demand justice against atrocities suffered by them."
Manish Sisodia later came out with a statement making it clear to Khaira to clean up his act. "I met Sukhpal Khaira today and made it clear to him that the party cannot even think about a referendum, let alone support it," he said.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had criticised Khaira for supporting the referendum.
Talking to News18, Khaira said, "I had a positive meeting with the honourable deputy CM. We discussed several issues. I told him we supported CM Arvind Kejriwal’s stand against the L-G. I also clarified my position on Referendum 2020."
Khaira had also sought a meeting with the Delhi CM but Kejriwal was miffed with the Punjab leader's statement and refused to meet him. Furthermore, after nine days of being on dharna at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s residence, sources said Kejriwal had fallen ill with low blood sugar levels.
Punjab CM and Congress leader Amarinder Singh had accused the AAP of sympathising with separatist Khalistani elements after Khaira's statement. The AAP clarified its position, distancing itself from Khaira and said it was a party that believed firmly in the Constitution and did not directly or indirectly support Referendum 2020, which was reportedly floated by Canada-based pro-Khalistani outfits.
“I dare Captain Amarinder Singh, Sukhbir Badal and Shwet Malik to produce even a shred of evidence that I support the 2020 Referendum,” he said. Khaira said he was not a coward if he wanted to support the Referendum then he would have called a full-fledged press conference.
He further challenged both Captain Amarinder Singh and the Badal family to examine their own “anti-national role” in promoting extremism in Punjab.
“Khaira said he was amused by the double standards of Congress and Akali leaders who never utter a word against the oft-repeated demand for a “Hindu Rashtra”. The said demand has been made by top BJP, RSS, VHP leaders repeatedly that amount to an act of sedition,” a statement from Khaira’s office read.
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