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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

AAP district head gives campaigning in Gurugram a miss; reportedly unhappy with Rathee’s candidature

gurugram Updated: Sep 27, 2019 23:57 IST
Sadia Akhtar
Sadia Akhtar

While Aam Aadmi Party’s Gurugram candidate, R S Rathee, has started campaigning for the upcoming assembly election, AAP Gurugram district head Mahesh Yadav has been missing from the party’s poll meetings. Party insiders, who did not wish to be named, said that Yadav seems to have withdrawn himself from election-related activities allegedly as an expression of displeasure over the selection of the candidate.

Yadav was earlier associated with Insaaf Manch Haryana, an outfit led by the union minister of state for statistics and programme implementation, Rao Inderjeet Singh, and joined AAP as the district head in April last year. “When Mahesh Yadav was appointed as the district head, there was opposition in the ranks of the party. You’ll not find Mahesh in any of Rathee’s posters. Mahesh has no incentive to support Rathee in the campaign either,” said a party member, on condition of anonymity.

He added that many office-bearers were not actively involved in the party’s activities and that the lack of unity was proving to be a dampener. “While Rathee has worked as a councillor for many years, Yadav is someone who can mobilise popular support. He played a crucial role in mobilising the crowds for Arvind Kejriwal’s rally that took place last year,” the party member said.

Another member from the party said that due to cold vibes between the two factions, supporters of Mahesh Yadav had also withdrawn themselves. “Yadav enjoys the support of at least 100-200 workers and none of them can be seen on the ground,” he said.

Party spokesperson Sudhir Yadav, however, said that all was well in the party, and Mahesh Yadav had himself decided against fighting elections. “He is involved in the decision-making meetings of the party. He himself said that he wouldn’t be contesting the elections this time due to personal reasons. The party thus decided that RS Rathee would be contesting the elections,” said Yadav.

Mahesh Yadav said he was not actively involved with the election campaign on the ground due to health issues. “I am facing some health issues due to which I refused to contest the elections. My involvement in the election campaign also depends on my health. I will participate if my health permits,” said Yadav.

RS Rathee, meanwhile, said that Yadav was travelling due to personal work and there was no reason to assume that he wouldn’t be participating in the campaign activities and extending support. “He was travelling out when I last spoke to him. I will be in touch with him, and as the campaign picks up pace, all members of the party will put their best foot forward,” said Rathee. He also brushed aside suggestions that the party’s campaign was falling weak due to lack of support from its cadre. “We received a positive response during our door-to-door campaign. People are acknowledging the work that I have done over the past 25 years,” he said.

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 23:57 IST

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