The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday suspended senior leaders and legislators of the Punjab unit Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu from the party.A statement issued from the party headquarters said that "Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu have been consistently indulging in anti-party activities and have continuously attacked central and state leadership".The statement, issued by the party's Core Committee of Punjab, said the committee "has decided to suspend them with immediate effect after exhausting all the available avenues to assuage them and make them see reason"."Indiscipline and anti-party activities cannot be tolerated at any level and the leaders and volunteers have to follow the rules set by the party," it said.The Punjab unit of the party had seen a virtual revolt in August this year after the AAP central leadership suddenly removed Khaira as the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly.Infighting among party leaders has been to the fore since then in Punjab.
The Khaira camp, which has the support of some AAP legislators, has been demanding autonomy for the AAP Punjab unit. The rebel leadership had, in August this year, announced its eight-member ad hoc political affairs committee (PAC) for Punjab.Khaira had also announced dissolution of the organisational structure of the AAP Punjab unit at a rebel convention held in Bathinda on August 2.He had, however, said that he was not trying to break the party.Khaira was an MLA from Bholath while Sandhu represented Kharar constituency in the Assembly.The AAP central leadership had picked up Dalit leader Harpal Singh Cheema as the Leader of the Opposition after Khaira's removal. Eleven out of the 20 AAP legislators in the Punjab Assembly visited Delhi in August first week and had a breakfast meeting with AAP National Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.The AAP became the main opposition in Punjab Assembly after the elections in March last year, winning 20 seats in the 117-member house.One legislator, H.S. Phoolka, who is a lawyer-activist, had resigned from his Assembly seat in October due to personal reasons.