Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a prominent leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has expressed his unwavering support for his AAP colleague and Punjab Chief Minister, Bhagwant Mann. This endorsement comes in the wake of criticisms leveled against Mann by political rivals following the arrest of Punjab Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira in a drugs case.
Speaking at an AAP event in Patiala, Arvind Kejriwal emphasized that the interests of his party cannot be compromised by the intricacies of political alliances, although he refrained from directly naming the Congress.
“Just a few days ago, a prominent individual was arrested in a drug smuggling case. Leaders from his party are questioning why Bhagwant Mann took such a step. I want to make it clear to everyone, we are not against any political party or leader. Our primary concern is combatting the drug menace,” Kejriwal stated.
He further appealed to all political parties to unite in the battle against drugs, urging them to take action against any members found to be involved in drug-related activities. Kejriwal maintained that the AAP would not hesitate to expel any such individuals from its ranks if necessary.
Arvind Kejriwal’s remarks come amidst heightened tensions between the Punjab Congress and the AAP following Sukhpal Singh Khaira’s arrest in connection with a 2015 drugs case. This public feud has added complexity to the political landscape in Punjab, where both parties are part of the newly formed opposition coalition INDIA, set to contest the upcoming national elections together.
In recent times, several Congress leaders have indicated their reluctance to form an alliance with the AAP in Punjab for the forthcoming national elections. While both parties are part of INDIA at the national level, regional dynamics have resulted in competition and rivalry in various states.
Kejriwal also highlighted the efforts made by the Punjab Police and the state government in tackling the drug issue over the past few months. He acknowledged that although there was still much work to be done, the commitment of Punjab in addressing this critical concern had garnered attention nationwide.
The evolving situation in Punjab underscores the intricate web of regional politics within the larger context of national alliances as parties navigate their paths towards the upcoming elections.