Punjab: Three rebel AAP MLAs join Congress amid party's internal turmoil

Express News Service
CHANDIGARH:  Even as Punjab unit of the Congress is in the thick of an internal turmoil, three rebel AAP MLAs Sukhpal Khaira (Bholath), Pirmal Singh (Bhadaur) and Jagdev Singh Kamalu (Maur) joined the party on Wednesday in the presence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

The inductions are seen as a shot in the arm for the beleaguered CM just before he flew to Delhi to meet the three-member AICC panel set up by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to resolve the infighting in the party. He is expected to meet the panel led by Rajya Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday.  

Amarinder said the joining of the three legislators had the approval of the Congress president. After the induction ceremony, Patiala MP and Amarinder’s wife Preneet Kaur said, “These legislators who have joined will be a big asset to the party.”

Congress sources said that by choosing to induct the rebel AAP legislators at this juncture, Amarinder had tried to convey a message to the party brass that leaders from other parties were willing to join even as “our own leaders” were claiming that his Congress government was losing the game of perception.

It’s a homecoming for Khaira who had quit the Congress in 2015 to join the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP. He said he and his colleagues had decided to return to the Congress in the larger interest of the country as well as Punjab. 

It was a political blunder to join the AAP presuming that Arvind Kejriwal would bring about a qualitative change in the political culture of India, he said.

Move to embarrass Punjab CM falls flat

A few Cabinet ministers led by Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Charanjit Singh Channi tried to convince their colleagues to boycott the virtual cabinet meeting called by the CM. But the plan backfired as a few other refused to do so