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AAP leaders mount attack on Kejriwal
BY RESMI SIVARAM April 29, 2017
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NEW DELHI: As Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) entered a self-review mode following the crash in Delhi municipal polls, its leader Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has come under fire.

AAP sources confided on Friday that MLAs in one-to-one meetings with the party chief told him to restrain himself, stop airing the allegations against electronic voting machines and also against the prime minister. Many also demanded inner party democracy.

Prominent leader and poet Kumar Vishwas told a television channel that Kejriwal “shouldn’t (have) attacked the PM.” He also said Kejriwal’s demand for proof of surgical strikes was wrong.

Other reasons for the party’s loss are a “lack of” intra-party democracy and a “trust deficit” with voters, the he said.

Kejriwal had asked the Centre for “proof” that surgical strikes took place on terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir last September.

AAP’s national ambitions crashed after electoral defeats in Punjab and Goa Assembly polls, the Rajouri Garden bypolls and the MCD polls.

Sources said the party is headed for a course correction, focusing on its home turf Delhi and putting off its expansion plans in other states.

Cabinet minister Gopal Rai was appointed the Delhi unit convenor late Thursday evening following a Political Affairs Committee (PAC) meeting chaired by Kejriwal.

He is in charge of party building up in poll-bound states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Rai could emerge as the key strategist and organisation building head of the party.

Punjab state in-charge Sanjay Singh, Punjab organisation building head Durgesh Pathak, Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey and Delhi state in-charge Ashish Talwar have quit.

Kejriwal whad been contemplating a restructuring of the party’s national organisation, sources said.

Union minister for urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation and information and broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu on Friday dismissed Kejriwal’s allegation of tampering of electronic voting machines (EVM) in the Delhi municipal corporation polls. “Kejriwal is making lame excuses,” Naidu said.

“He must understand that these are the same EVMs with which he won the Delhi assembly polls two years ago.

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