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Kejriwal ‘deeply pained’ by AAP crisis

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New Delhi, March 3:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said he was “deeply hurt and pained” by the open warfare within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

 Arvind Kejriwal (Photo: IANS)“I am deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party. This is betrayal of trust (the people of) Delhi reposed in us,” Kejriwal tweeted, adding he won’t allow “people’s trust to be broken”.

“I refuse to be drawn in this ugly battle. Will concentrate only on Delhi’s governance,” he added.

Less than a month after it stormed to power winning 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi, the AAP is split between senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan on the one hand and Kejriwal backers on the other.

Kejriwal’s comments appeared to indicate that he was distancing himself from his known supporters in the party who have threatened to act “tough” against Bhushan and Yadav for allegedly challenging Kejriwal’s leadership.

In what is being viewed as a veiled attack on Kejriwal, Bhushan and Yadav have been quoted as questioning the party’s “one person-centric” approach — in internal communications leaked to the media.

While Bhushan, an eminent Supreme Court lawyer and a founder member of AAP, has refused to comment on party affairs to the media, Yadav has been accused by a section of the AAP of trying to oust Kejriwal as its national convenor.

AAP leaders who are appealing for peace have denied this.

On Tuesday, Prashant Bhushan’s father and another leading lawyer, Shanti Bhushan, also called for truce in the party and urged both his son as well as Yadav to stand by the Delhi chief minister.

As the crisis escalated, AAP leaders hinted on Monday that when the national executive meets here on Wednesday, they would act “tough” against those challenging Kejriwal.

Prashant Bhushan has said he won’t attend the meeting because of prior commitments.

The AAP, born from the anti-corruption campaign of activist Anna Hazare, was founded in 2012 and came to power in Delhi after the very first election it contested in December 2013, albeit with Congress backing.

Kejriwal quit as chief minister on February 14, 2014, leading to President’s Rule in Delhi. He took oath exactly a year later after leading the AAP to a thumping victory. IANS