Punjab’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Bhagwant Mann resigned on Friday ans stated that his fight against drug mafia and corruption will continue.
“I’m resigning as a president of AAP Punjab… But my fight against drug mafia and all kind of corruption in Punjab will continue as an ‘Aam Aadmi’ (common man) of Punjab,” Mann tweeted.
His resignation comes a day after AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal apologized to former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia for alleging that he was involved in the drug trade.
Majithia had filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and others following the allegation made during campaigning in the Punjab Assembly elections .
AAP leaders told NDTV that the apology forms the template of how the party would deal with other defamation cases pending against the Chief Minister and other senior party leaders.
"Contesting Court cases is taking toll on already constrained resources of the party and individuals," AAP spokesman Saurabh Bharadwaj later said in a statement as the party scrambled to arrest the outrage among its supporters.
Ankit Lal, the party's social media strategist said the Congress government agencies had given Mr Majithia a clean chit. "So either you prove that Mr Majithia is guilty (which we can't in current scenario) or you retract," he tweeted.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Independent MLA Balwinder Singh Bains said that the Punjabis have been betrayed by Arvind Kejriwal by offering his resignation to Majithia. “It is not a simple issue of a defemation case or attending hearings. There seems to be a bigger gameplan in which apologies are being given to Majithia and Arun Jaitley,” he said.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, meanwhile, said Kejriwal had ‘murdered’ the party in Punjab.’It is a letdown to the people of Punjab. I feel Kejriwal has murdered AAP in Punjab. It is as if their existence has been wiped off. With what face will they speak against drugs in Punjab now?’ Sidhu was quoted as saying by ANI.