After the Lok Sabha debacle when Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) saw a series of desertions and senior leaders like Yogendra Yadav questioning the “supremo style” of functioning within the party, Arvind Kejriwal broke down in the National Executive meeting and had even offered to quit.
This was revealed by AAP leader Ashutosh, convenor of AAP’s Delhi unit and a confidant of Kejriwal in his book ‘The Crown Prince, The Gladiator and The Hope’.
The National Executive was held from June 6-8 last year at Prashant Bhushan’s residence in Jangpura to discuss party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha. But a few weeks after the party’s drubbing, Kejriwal was sent to jail for refusing to furnish a bond in a defamation case by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
After the defeat, Yadav too had questioned Kejriwal’s “supremo style” rather than a democratic style of functioning. Shazia Ilmi, another leader and a one-time aide of Kejriwal, had quit the party citing a lack of inner party demoracy as the reason.
“Arvind’s face fell. He rose and excused himself to leave the room. He started to say something, but could not complete. He broke down and as tears fell unheeded, he crumbled to the floor. Anjali (Damania, AAP leader from Maharashtra who unsuccessfully contested against Gadkari) and I (Ashutosh) rushed to him. She put her arms around him and rushed to him.
Soon Anjali began crying as well and shouted. ‘We should all be ashamed of ourseleves. This is what we have given him. After some time Arvind regained his composure. By now, everyone had gathered around him.
‘I have not left my job and other good things of life just to become a convenor of the party. I dont want this. Please elect someone as the National Convenor’. And his eyes welled up again,” Ashutosh writes in the book.
Leaders who were a part of that meeting said that Arvind Kejriwal broke down thrice.
“I have taken on Robert Vadra (son-in-law of Congress President), I have taken on Mukesh Ambani and even Narendra MNodi, but I havent come up to fight my own people,” Kejriwal had said, according to a leader who was a part of the meeting.
Incidentally, even in NE held last week, Kejriwal had offered to resign from the post of National Convenor.
In a blog, a senior AAP leader from Maharashtra, Mayank Gandhi wrote that Kejriwal had earlier conveyed that he will “not be able” to work as the AAP National Convener if Bhushan and Yadav were part of the PAC.