Ex-LoP Khaira withdraws his resignation as MLA

Chandigarh, Oct 23 (PTI)

Punjabi Ekta Party leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday withdrew his resignation as Punjab MLA, saying he took the decision keeping in mind the “sentiments of people” of his constituency Bholath.

The move of former AAP leader which came months after he tendered his resignation as legislator, prompted sharp reaction from political parties, including the AAP. Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana K P Singh said Khaira took back his resignation and did not give any reason for it.

The law provides that a legislator can withdraw his resignation at any stage before its acceptance, Singh said while talking to reporters here. Khaira was called by Vidhan Sabha speaker on Tuesday for hearing on a petition seeking his disqualification as MLA. Khaira, however, sought its deferment on grounds of his son’s wedding next month.

In a statement, Khaira later said he was approached by the people of Bholath constituency, who advised him against resigning from the assembly, saying it would only impose an unnecessary by-election upon voters. Khaira, who was elected as Bholath MLA in 2017 on the AAP symbol, said he withdrew the resignation as per the advice of his legal team and the sentiments of the people of Bholath and his colleagues.

Khaira said AAP leaders were free to prove their case of his disqualification pending before the assembly speaker against him. He said he has a “befitting reply to be given to the dictators” at the appropriate time. In a statement, Khaira also questioned the way he was suspended and later expelled from the Aam Aadmi Party, slamming AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal, accusing him of acting as a “dictator” while throwing him out of the AAP.

Khaira, who had joined the AAP in 2015, was removed as the leader of opposition in July 2018. Six months later, he quit the AAP and floated his Punjab Ekta Party, after which the AAP sought his disqualification as an MLA. Khaira in April this year had resigned as MLA and had even contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Bathinda parliamentary seat, but failed to win it.

Reacting to Khaira’s move, AAP MLA and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema accused him of being the “most opportunist” man. He should seek forgiveness from the people for “playing” with their emotions, alleged Cheema.  BJP leader Tarun Chugh accused Khaira of creating a “new drama” and sought his disqualification at the earliest.

SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema slammed Khaira for taking back his resignation and described his move as a “fraud”. “He should be disqualified for deserting his parent party, forming new party and contesting parliamentary poll on new symbol,” Cheema said

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