AAP ex-convener Chhotepur to join Navjot Sidhu’s Awaaz-e-Punjab

Sidhu & Chhotepur

CHANDIGARH: AAP’s former Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur is likely to join Awaaz-e-Punjab, the front to be formally floated by Navjot Sidhu on September 9. More senior AAP leaders are expected to join the front.

AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal had picked Chhotepur two years back when the party was looking for a suitable Sikh face. Chhotepur had provided the required push for AAP in Punjab but his alleged authoritarian style of functioning is supposed to have irked many in the party.
The former minister — known for speaking his mind during the Surjit Singh Barnala’s government in protest against Operation Black Thunder to flush terrorists out of the Golden Temple — is believed to be in touch with Sidhu. “Chhotepur would take along a good chunk of AAP leaders with him.

Party clearly lack understanding in dealing with Punjab politics. AAP’s Punjab unit has been hit by rebellion against party in-charge Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak, both from Uttar Pradesh. They were calling the shots so far and credited with building the organisation.

Sidhu’s front launch could make the Punjab elections a four-cornered contest. Emboldened by the support of former Akali leaders Simarjit Singh Bains and former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh, Sidhu has decided to launch the front, and has ended talks with the AAP.

On Monday, Shiromani Akali Dal asked Kejriwal to come clean on charges of ‘sexual exploitation’ of Punjabi women by AAP leaders, while also demanding the immediate dismissal of both Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak from all party posts in Punjab.

Stating that Kejriwal could not simply ‘tweet away’ his worries, senior SAD leaders Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Maheshinder Singh Grewal said the Delhi chief minister must explain to Punjabis as to why he had let such ‘acts of moral turpitude’ be his party leaders.