AAP ‘unity’ talks fail

What was intended to be a constructive dialogue, aimed at reconciliation just days before a significant national meeting, turned into a public spat between rival Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) factions here on Thursday.

Insiders said the meeting of the AAP political affairs committee proved that the party was no longer big enough to accommodate those in favour of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal continuing to have a say in its affairs as national convenor, and others led by senior leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav in disagreement with the proposition.

A senior party functionary told TheHindu that Mr. Bhushan and Mr. Yadav were “most likely” to be removed at the national council meeting on Saturday, where its Delhi unit was scheduled to table a report revolving around “complaints pertaining to the style of functioning of both the leaders.” The decision to “let both go,” the source said, was “expected to be more or less unanimous.”

The PAC meet, the second in two days, at Mr. Kejriwal’s Kaushambi residence was attended by senior party leaders such as Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, besides the Chief Minister.

“Talks with Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav have failed,” Mr. Sisodia tweeted at the conclusion of the meeting. “No effort to remove Arvind Kejriwal [as AAP national convener] is acceptable to me. Let the national council decide [how to proceed further] on 28 March now,” he said.

Mr. Vishwas accused Mr. Bhushan of embarking on a sustained campaign against Mr. Kejriwal. Another leader, Ashish Khetan, accused Mr. Bhushan and Mr. Yadav of “attempting to weaken Arvind.”

The party later put out a letter, received from the duo on March 17, laying down five demands related to the party’s internal functioning and claimed both had agreed to resign when they were accepted. “On Thursday, though, they added another demand to their list and insisted they would resign only if Arvind was removed from the post of national convener,” Mr. Vishwas said.

“Ridiculous claim that we insisted on AK’s [Arvind Kejriwal] removal,” Mr. Yadav said reacting to the communication. “This wasn’t mentioned in our note, never came up for discussion. Can they give any proof?”

Mr. Yadav said he had not asked for a larger role in the party’s affairs or strategy in Haryana. “It is a lie,” he said.

Mr. Bhushan was not available for comment.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 10:56:36 PM |

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