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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Kejri in damage control mode; reaches out to Yadav

Brajesh Kumar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 07, 2014
First Published: 22:31 IST(7/6/2014) | Last Updated: 04:03 IST(9/6/2014)

Amid serious infighting in the party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday reached out to party leaders Yogendra Yadav and Shazia Ilmi, both of whom had attacked AAP’s alleged lack of internal democracy.

Kejriwal also promised restructuring of the party which could include an expansion of its decision making bodies — the political affairs committee (PAC) and national executive (NE) — as well as state and district units.

“The differences are resolved. We are discussing organisational structure,” Kejriwal said at the end of the second day of the party’s three-day NE meet in the Capital.

Read: Kejriwal says Yogendra Yadav is a dear friend

Read: AAP in agony: dissent and resignations put party in crisis

Speaking to reporters, Yadav expressed happiness that the party had given importance to the issues he had raised. “The day I resigned, my party leaders wanted me to withdraw the resignation but I said issues should be discussed. All these issues were related to the party, volunteers and its well wishers,” Yadav said.

The PAC has one vacancy – created after Yadav’s resignation – which could be filled by a woman member while the NE will have representation from different parts of the country, with Medha Patkar and Raj Mohan Gandhi as possible new members. AAP will also restructure its district and state committees with new members roped in.

The meet had been called to discuss the party’s setback in the Lok Sabha polls and to draw a future plan of action. AAP had fought in over 400 seats nationwide but won only four, drawing a blank in Delhi.  Kejriwal was under tremendous pressure from volunteers to restructure the party and democratize decision-making processes, which were reportedly hijacked by Kejriwal and leaders close to him.

Read: Kejriwal in jail, but Yogendra Yadav bails himself out

A letter war between Yadav and senior leader Manish Sisodia on Thursday further bolstered the image that AAP was split down the middle with one faction supporting Kejriwal and the other opposing him. 

The letters also exposed serious rift between Kejriwal and Yadav, who had called Kejriwal ‘supremo’ and questioned the ‘personality cult’ disease the party was falling prey to.

“After the letters were leaked, Kejriwal realised he had to accept problems in AAP and in his own style of functioning. This made him reach out to Yadav and Ilmi and consider restructuring,” a senior leader told HT.

Read: AAP denies rift as top leaders engage in letter war

Read: Sisodia underplays 'letter war' triggered by Yadav

Before the meeting, Kejriwal, in a tweet, called Yadav a dear friend and a valued colleague; he added that issues raised by Yadav were important and AAP would look into them. He also said the party would try to get back former AAP national executive member Shazia Ilmi, who had quit the party on May 24, saying it was run by a ‘clique’.

Kejriwal’s tweet on Yadav set the tone for the second day of the meet, which was dominated by discussion on restructuring the party. The Yadav- Sisodia letter spat wasn’t talked about as members believed the differences were as good as over.

Read: Shazia Ilmi, Captain Gopinath quit Aam Aadmi Party


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