THE RIGHT CHOICE: AAP Chooses Firebrand Khaira As Their Punjab Opposition Leader

TFG--banners website-F2Firebrand Khaira3Punjab AAP MLA Sukhpal Khaira was chosen as the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Thursday, with majority of the 19 other Aam Aadmi Party MLAs recommending his name in a one-on-one meeting with national party convener Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi. Khaira got preference over other contenders after about 15 MLAs met in Chandigarh on July 17 where they agreed to support him on the ground that he was the only experienced legislator.

CHANDIGARH – Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira was chosen as the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Thursday, with majority of the 19 other Aam Aadmi Party MLAs recommending his name in a one-on-one meeting with national party convener Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi.

TFG-banners website-AD-FHS Phoolka, who had resigned as the Leader of Opposition to focus on fighting cases of the 1984 massacre of Siks victims, also backed Khaira.

Khaira got preference over other contenders after about 15 MLAs met in Chandigarh on July 17 where they agreed to support him on the ground that he was the only experienced legislator. One of the main contenders, Nazar Singh Mansahia, withdrew his name in Khaira’s favour in the meeting itself.

Three MLAs, it is learnt, expressed strong reservation against Khaira’s name today, arguing that he would nurture his personal agenda more than toeing the party’s line and ideals. However, when Kejriwal and MP Bhagwant Mann announced that majority of the MLAs were in favour of Khaira, all MLAs gave their consent.

The Leader of Opposition gets a Cabinet Minister rank and status. Talwandi Sabo MLA Baljinder Kaur was another contender for the post.

Party sources said the Delhi leadership felt that the party may get divided if Khaira was not given a chance. Khaira, at present the Chief Whip of the party, had openly protested against the selection of Bhagwant Mann as state party president.

Khaira faces a daunting task as he has to keep the party flag high in the Assembly, besides ensuring discipline. His first challenge would be to find a way out of privilege action against him by the Speaker.

Khaira had during the Budget Session last month gone live on Facebook from the Assembly, against the rules. He was suspended for the session. A privilege committee will hear the allegation against him. Meanwhile, commenting on his election, Khaira said it was a moral victory of hard work and truth against sycophancy and money power.

Khaira had remained a Congress MLA from 2007 to 2012. His father Sukhjinder Singh was an Akali leader who remained Education Minister twice.

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