At party meet, Arvind Kejriwal wanted to quit as AAP Convener

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had tendered his resignation as party’s National Convener in the National Executive meeting held on Thursday, party sources said, a move which was vehemently opposed by members.

The sources said Kejriwal was upset after a section of leaders raised the issue of him playing dual role of the Delhi Chief Minister and the party convener. Kejriwal is believed to have demanded more freedom to run the party.

The meet was held on Thursday and an informal meet continued until yesterday

“In the National Executive meeting, Kejriwal had offered to resign, having become the chief minister. He had also sent a note and also conveyed his decision over the phone. The move was vehemently opposed by everyone, including Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. On the same night, NE members met Kejriwal and conveyed that they had rejected his proposal of quitting

“A suggestion also came up to rejig the PAC, but a final decision will be taken by Arvind (Kejriwal),” said a senior party leader.

The party is also likely to rejig its all powerful Political Affairs Committee (PAC), amidst reports of friction between Kejriwal and senior party leader Yogendra Yadav.

The rejig is likely to take place after the budget session of Delhi Legislative Assembly, which is slated to take place next week, but a final decision will be taken by Kejriwal in coming days.

The party sources said that after the rejig, specific responsibility will be given to the leaders and their roles will be defined.

All is not well within the party, the sources said, as differences have cropped up between senior party leaders especially over the candidate selection during the Delhi assembly election. Owing to this, Bhushan and Yadav were not attending the PAC.

The Delhi unit of AAP was unhappy about the opposition over the candidate selection process as it claimed that the party already had a strong filter to weed out candidates who don’t meet the party standards.

Meanwhile, Yadav said no decision was taken to rejig the PAC. “As I said, there was a National Executive meeting, no such decision has taken place and about speculation, obviously I cannot respond. AAP is not into such petty political games that get played in other political parties.

“All the time I remember much bigger, which is millions, crores of people in this country have invested their hopes about changing the nature of politics in this small entity called aam aadmi party. We cannot play small, we have to respond to those hopes and we have to act to the best of our ability,” Yadav said.

Following the NE meet, a three-member committee was constituted comprising party’s national secretary Pankaj Gupta, Gopal Rai and Anand Kumar to talk to Kejriwal, Yadav and Bhushan and sort the issues.

Concerns were also raised about “leakages” by some leaders to the media, which was not good in taste for the party.

This is the not the first time that differences have cropped up between Yadav and Kejriwal. After the Lok Sabha debacle, Yadav had written a letter criticising Kejriwal of “falling prey to personality cult”.