Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has offered to resign as the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party in the middle of a growing rift within his party.
The development comes ahead of the party’s National Executive meeting today — a crucial one that will decide the fate of senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan in its political affairs committee (PAC).
Kejriwal, citing health reasons, has skipped the meeting. He is likely to leave for Bengaluru on Wednesday evening for naturopathy treatment for a period of 10 days.
Over the past few days, battle-lines have hardened in the party, which rose to power in the landmark Delhi elections early in February. Sharp differences have come to the fore within the party with allegations that Bhushan and Yadav were trying to “remove” Kejriwal from the post of party convener.
Kejriwal had tendered his resignation as AAP National Convener in the last National Executive meeting held last week, but it was unanimously rejected. He had also skipped the meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body then.
Talks were on late Tuesday night in the party to decide the fate of Yadav and Bhushan. An AAP source indicated that despite the harsh words against Bhushan, the leadership is still open to “some form of a reconciliation with him but not Yadav”.
The odds are heavily stacked against Bhushan and Yadav since the Wednesday meeting will be limited to 27 voting members of the national executive where Kejriwal’s supporters are in a majority. AAP spokesperson Deepak Bajpai said: “There are 21 members of the national executive and six state representatives.”
On Tuesday, Kejriwal had said that he was hurt by the current rumblings in the party and would focus on Delhi’s governance agenda.
“Deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party; this is betrayal of trust that Delhi posed in us,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.
“I refuse to be drawn into this ugly battle. Will concentrate on Delhi’s governance. Will not let people’s trust break under any circumstances,” he said.