Chandigarh, February 14: Several MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have asked party’s Punjab affairs incharge Manish Sisodia to remove Bhagwant Mann from the post of state convener. The demand was put forward during Sisodia’s recent visit to Jalandhar.
Party sources said Sisodia had met all MLAs individually on February 4, during which he had sought their response on the state of affairs in the party unit. At least four MLAs confirmed to The Tribune that they individually raised the issue of removal of Bhagwant Mann with Sisodia.
The sources said a majority of the MLAs conveyed to Sisodia that the immediate step to be taken was to remove Mann from the post of state convener.
One of the MLAs, wishing not to be named, said Sisodia was told that under Mann’s leadership, the organisation structure at the grass-roots level had become non-existent. “Most of us agree that Mann is not accessible even to the party MLAs,” said a legislator from Malwa.
After getting the feedback, the sources said, Sisodia asked the MLAs about the suitable leader who could replace Mann.
When contacted, Aman Arora, party MLA from Sunam and state co-convener, confirmed that it was a one-on-one meeting. “Sisodia’s agenda was that how the party should raise public issues and plan for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He was here to get a real picture of the ground situation. The meeting was not about any individual. I can’t comment on what others had conveyed to him,” he said.
Mann, however, denied that any such discussion had taken place. “I have had meetings with Sisodia even during the Parliament session. We had long discussions regarding our preparation for the Lok Sabha as well as local bodies’ elections, but there was no talk of any resentment among the state MLAs,” he said. He said he had been addressing rallies in constituencies of several MLAs in Malwa region, but none of them had any such complaint against me.
After the state assembly elections last year, Mann had blamed the party’s Delhi leadership for the defeat. Following his alleged veiled threat to quit, he was appointed convener of the state unit.
News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com