Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who had quit AAP two days ago, Tuesday floated a new regional, political outfit -- Punjabi Ekta Party --promising to end end corruption, sand mining, transport, cable mafia and justice in 2015 sacrilege, police firing incidents.
Khaira lambasted the Badal family and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in his over one-hour-long speech, accusing them of betraying the people of Punjab and alleging SAD and Congress were playing "fixed and friendly match".
On the occasion, six AAP rebel MLAs Kanwar Singh Sandhu, Jagdev Singh Kamalu, Jagtar Singh Hissowal, Pirmal Singh Khalsa, Master Baldev Singh and Nazar Singh Manshahia were present. Suspended AAP MP from Patiala Dharamvira Gandhi also attended the function.
On Sunday, Khaira, legislator from Bholath constituency, had quit AAP, six months after he was ousted from the post of Leader of Opposition of Punjab Assembly. However, he had not resigned as MLA and had dared AAP to get him disqualified.
"We have taken a very difficult and very big decision. We are thankful to all of you. With the blessing of God, I am going to announce Punjab-centric, regional party... it will raise burning issues in the state. Its name is Punjabi Ekta Party," Khaira said, during the launch function.
"There is a history that splinter groups form parties when elections are near. But they are finished once elections are over. People will not support him (Khaira). He was an opportunist, who always thought of his own gains," said Cheema.
Khaira promised he would find solutions to the problems of farmers and end suicides, farm debt, and said cash subsidy would be transferred into farmers' accounts directly.
Khaira vowed to end corruption and action against big leaders who were found guilty of corruption.
"Just 0.1 per cent of the people comprising politicians and bureaucrats in Punjab are corrupt. They will not be spared and strict action will be taken," he said adding, "We will de-link the business of politicians from politics by bringing law on conflict of interest."
Khaira agreed with the proposal of suspended MP Dharamvira Gandhi who had been advocating poppy cultivation in Punjab.
"We are in favour of promotion of organic drugs like poppy husk and opium so that people can be saved from synthetic drugs like 'chitta'," he said.
Khaira also promised effective Lokpal, jobs for the youth and ending sand mafia, drug trade, illegal mining, transport, liquor mafias.
In his speech, 53-year-old Khaira lashed out at the political families of Badals and Amarinder Singh, accusing them of "destroying" the state.
He alleged the Congress government was continuing what the Akalis did in their tenure. "The mafia raj is still going on in the state," he alleged.
When asked about AAP, Khaira said he does not want to talk about "non-entities" in Punjab politics.
He said he had not made up his mind on contesting Lok Sabha polls from which seat.
District presidents of Punjabi Ekta Party would be announced soon, he added.
Meanwhile, Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, who had been suspended by AAP, along with Khaira said, "The (six rebel) MLAs were there to listen to Khaira on his vision for the party." All six rebel MLAs did not sit on the stage.
Khaira, who along with another rebel MLA Kanwar Sandhu, was recently suspended from the party for indulging in "anti-party" activities, has been vocal against his former party's leadership.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)