First signs of fissures within the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) appeared on Wednesday with its legislator and former IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh raising a banner of revolt against his own party’s government for slow pedaling in sacrilege cases.
A cop-turned-politician, who had in the past expressed his displeasure over the government’s inaction in 2015 sacrilege cases on several occasions, on Wednesday resigned “in protest” from the post of chairman of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha’s Committee on Government Assurances.
It has been learnt that Kunwar Vijay, AAP MLA from Amritsar (North), put in his papers following his differences with the government on handling the probe into the cases. Notably, the former Inspector General of Police had also resigned from the state police force over the same issue.
MLA from Amritsar North segment, Kunwar Vijay has sent his resignation letter to Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan through e-mail. However, the Speaker is yet to accept the resignation, till the filing of this report.
As per the information available, Kunwar Vijay had convened a meeting of the House Committee on January 20 on the sacrilege cases probe, in which the Chief Secretary VK Janjua and Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav were summoned. However, on the same day and same time, the Speaker Sandhwan called a meeting of all House committee chairmen, following which Kunwar Vijay had to cancel his meeting.
Former cop’s resentment against his own party’s government can also be attributed to the non-serious attitude displayed by the AAP government, in these past months over the sensitive issue of sacrilege.
During the assembly sessions, Kunwar Vijay had sought a long discussion regarding the investigation into the sacrilege cases. He had, in fact, urged the Speaker to dedicate a day for the discussion. However, nothing was done.
Before joining politics, Kunwar Vijay, as IGP, was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the 2015 Kotakpura and Behbal Kalan police firing cases. The incidents had taken place after the alleged desecration of a religious text in Faridkot.
The 1998-batch officer of the Punjab cadre had resigned in the run-up to the assembly elections after the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the probe by the SIT into the Kotkapura firing incident.
BAJWA EXTENDS SUPPORTS
Coming openly in support of AAP MLA from Amritsar (North) Kunwar Vijay Pratap, senior Congress leader and the Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha Partap Singh Bajwa on Wednesday strongly condemned the AAP Government for poor handling of the issues relating to sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and alleged police firing in which two Sikh youth were killed. “Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh had rightfully criticized his government on various occasions. He had also demanded a special session of the Vidhan Sabha to debate the sacrilege and police firing incidents. During the budget session in June, Kunwar Vijay had also moved a call attention notice on the issue but it was not taken up,” he said.