The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) reappointed Bhagwant Mann as the state president of Punjab on Wednesday, in a bid to strengthen its prospects ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The party's in-charge of Punjab affairs made the announcement after holding a press briefing with the Sangrur parliamentarian. Mr Mann had quit the post last year in protest against party convenor Arvind Kejriwal's apology to Akali Dal lawmaker Bikramjit Singh Majithia in a defamation case. The party had not accepted his resignation back then.
The lawmaker today said that the opposition had buried Mr Kejriwal in legal cases, which was always a hurdle in executing his official duties as the Delhi chief minister. "Kejriwal apologised, and around 34 cases filed against him were withdrawn. Despite this, another senior leader - Sanjay Singh - is still fighting a case against Majithia. I decided to accept the position after Kejriwal explained the situation to me," he added.
Although Mr Mann held that certain leaders had rebelled only to satiate their hunger for power, he vowed to try and bring most of them back. The party leader also warded off questions on his alleged liquor addiction, saying that he was being defamed by rival parties for political gains.
However, suspended AAP legislator Kanwar Sandhu said that Mr Mann's appointment as the party president won't have a major impact on the Lok Sabha elections. "People will not buy his argument unless there is enough clarity on the circumstances surrounding his exit last year. The party is undergoing a severe credibility crisis, and his reappointment won't improve the Aam Aadmi Party's chances," he claimed.