Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said AAP leader Sukhpal Khaira did not have any locus standi to continue as leader of opposition with the high court refusing his plea to stay proceedings summoning him as an accused in an international drug racket case and that he should now tender his resignation immediately.
In a statement here, SAD MPs Naresh Gujral and Prem Singh Chandumajra said with today's developments in the high court it was clear that Sukhpal Khaira was an accused in a drug racket with Pakistani links. "Instead of giving him any relief despite repeated and persistent pleas by his council, the high court has asked him to appear in the Fazilka court as summoned on November 30. It has also facilitated his appearance in the court by directing that the non-bailable warrants issued against him should not be executed”, the MPs added.
The senior SAD leaders said propriety demanded that Khaira resign as leader of opposition immediately so that the august chair was not besmirched. They said since this was not likely as Khaira had already thrown all moral and ethical norms to the wind, it was incumbent on AAP Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to fire him from the post and also expel him from the party without any further delay. "If Kejriwal does not take swift action against Khaira it will make it clear to Punjabis that the AAP Convenor himself is compromised and is hand in glove with Khaira”.
Gujral and Chandumajra said an attempt was being made by AAP to brazen it out and support Sukhpal Khaira. They said even AAP legislators were being pressurized to support Khaira and sign a statement in his favour. "This despite the fact that a large number of AAP leaders have already asked Khaira to resign saying the party cannot have double standards on the issue of drugs and that it could not tolerate this taint. Leaders are now being pressurized to amend their statements give a clean chit to Khaira”, the leaders added.
The Akali leaders said this was a testing time for AAP legislators. "You (AAP MLAs) have been repeatedly misused by the Delhi AAP team. You have been forced to brand Punjabis as ‘nashedi’ on the orders of Arvind Kejriwal and his gang. Punjab and its youth have suffered because of this. Now is the time for you to stand up for Punjab and its youth and condemn any move to support a leader who stands accused of being the king pin of an international drug racket in which the accused have been given stringent punishment of 20 years jail term".
The MPs also rubbished AAP attempts to mislead the people by projecting the mere stay of the non-bailable warrant against him as a relief. "Nothing has changed on the ground. Khaira still stands as an accused in the case. He has to appear in court as an accused on November 30. He will be subject to the judicial process which has summoned him after finding strong cogent evidence against him”.