Within four months after the party successfully roped in some prominent political figures, disintegration started in the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Amid a tussle between two senior leaders, the AAP on Friday terminated two-time MLA from Udhampur Balwant Singh Mankotia from the primary membership of the party. Mankotia was expelled on the charges of hobnobbing with other political parties and defaming the party.
In a letter, the AAP has terminated the membership of Mankotia on charges of indulging in anti-party activities.
In the letter, Mankotia has been charged with "engaging with other national and regional parties of J&K" and "not engaging or participating in any of the AAP political activities and not performing any task given by the party in the last three months."
He has also been accused of "influencing AAP volunteers to join other parties and offering them positions in other parties."
The AAP has also charged him with "defaming party on media platforms by making false statements under the influence of another political party and confusing the AAP volunteers".
Mankotia was not happy with the joining of Harsh Dev Singh in AAP
After resigning from the Panthers Party, Balwant Singh Mankotia was the first prominent political figure of J&K who joined AAP.
Along with 100 prominent persons including two-time MLA from Samba, Yash Paul Kundal, Mankotia had joined Panthers Party on April 10 this year.
Village heads, and members of the block development council (BDC) and district development council (DDC), also joined the party along with Mankotia in the presence of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Environment Minister Gopal Rai.
Mankotia is a two-time MLA from Udhampur and resigned from the Panthers Party in February 2021, citing a "family issue". Kundal, another Panthers Party leader, is also a two-time MLA and former minister.
Mankotia was not happy with the decision of the AAP to induct his old colleague in the Panthers Party and cousin Harsh Dev Singh into the party.
Ignoring the opposition of Mankotia, AAP central leadership has inducted Harsh Dev Singh into the party on May 7 this year. The day Harsh Dev Singh joined AAP, Mankotia became inactive in the party to lodge their protest against the induction of Singh.