Nearly 10 months after Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) senior leader Bhagwant Mann resigned from his post as president of the Punjab unit, the Member of Parliament (MP) from Sangrur will re-take the charge on Wednesday.
“Mann will be formally installed chief of Punjab unit at a simple ceremony in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and in-charge (Punjab affairs) Munish Sisodia,” an official party release said on Tuesday.
It said the decision to reinstall Mann as party chief comes close on the heels of the party’s Core Committee unanimously rejecting his resignation and forwarding its decision to the National Political Affairs Committee (PAC) for review last week.
Mann had announced his resignation as party’s Punjab chief in March 2018 a day after Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal apologised to former Punjab revenue minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia for having levelled “unfounded” allegations related to involvement in drugs trade against him following which Majithia decided to withdraw the court case against him.
Majithia had filed a criminal defamation case against Kejriwal and two other AAP leaders in May 2016 who had repeatedly targeted him over the problem of drugs in Punjab. Majithia had accused Kejriwal of tarnishing his image and his family through fabricated accusations. Kejriwal’s apology had drawn flak from AAP’s Punjab unit leaders who termed his step a “let down”.
Even as the party didn’t accept his resignation as state unit chief, Mann continued to lead the state unit as AAP didn’t make an appointment as his replacement.
In a core committee meeting of the Punjab unit of AAP on Friday, Mann’s resignation was unanimously rejected and a resolution was adopted to send it to the central political affairs committee for review.
The meeting was also attended by Mann and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Vidhan Sabha Harpal Singh Cheema, among others. Reacting to the meeting’s decision, Mann said he would take a decision after meeting Kejriwal.
Among others who are likely to be a part of Mann’s installation ceremony include, Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs), members of state Core Committee, state executive committee and officials from various wings.