March 12, 2017 9:45 am - AAP is still to get up and dust up and apply balm to the terrible bruises it got in the Assembly polls, but the next dirty fight has already started in the party. A meeting of 7 AAP MLAs at the house of a senior AAP leader (a defeated candidate) saw almost a near fracas during a discussion on who should be the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly.
It will be the first time the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will neither be ruling nor will have the LoP post - an ignominy the party will be reminded of for a long time to come. Several winning MLAs of AAP have now put their foot down and are insisting that they be allowed to choose who will be the LoP.
"There is no way we are going to allow a Sanjay Singh or a Durgesh Pathak to call the shots. These people and their diktats are the very reason we lost a serious shot at power. Kejriwal and company in Delhi must understand that the show must run from Punjab," said a senior AAP leader known to have a mind of his own. Bhagwant Mann could have been a clear choice for LoP if he had won, but that did not happen. "As things stand, Bhagwant (Mann) will continue to be our LoP in the Lok Sabha where he overshadows any opposition leader," chuckled a newly won MLA.
AAP leaders in Punjab are certain of one thing - No serious analysis will be undertaken in public of why a party expected to sweep the elections almost fell near where the most slammed Akali Dal fell. "You can consider it the end of AAP as it existed, and a possibly window for the emergence of a new, rejuvenated, independent-of-Delhi force," said a political analyst.