In a serious bid at unity, Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Harpal Cheema and AAP’s Punjab co-convener Dr Balbir Singh have begun reaching out to party “rebels”, including Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, Sucha Singh Chhotepur and the Khaira group — at the bidding of party convener Arvind Kejriwal at a meeting in Delhi recently.
Dr Balbir said he and other party leaders had already met some rebel MLAs. “We will soon meet all rebels and urge them to stand united in the larger interest of Punjab,” he said.
Cheema on Wednesday met Narinder Singh in Moga. The latter is close to Sukhpal Khaira, who heads a group of eight rebel MLAs.
“Kejriwal wants the leaders to sink differences. We can best serve the interests of Punjab if we are united,” he said. Kanwar Sandhu, spokesperson for the Khaira group, welcomed the peace initiative.
He said unity was possible if the resolutions passed at the Bathinda convention, including autonomy for the state unit, were accepted. “We are already supporting party nominees for the zila parishad and block samiti polls,” he said.
Dr Gandhi shared the stage with the Khaira group in Patiala on Sunday. He was suspended for alleged anti-party activities in 2014. Former state convener Chhotepur was removed before the 2017 Assembly polls for accepting funds from a volunteer — a charge that the party could not prove.