Two days after his apology to SAD leader Bikram Majithia kicked up an internal storm, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal expressed regret to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal for leveling unverified allegations. Amit Sibal, lawyer and son of Kapil Sibal, had filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal for alleging that the latter had a conflict in seeking to revise a tax demand. On the other hand, Gadkari’s case against Kejriwal dates back to 2014.
In a letter to Nitin Gadkari, Delhi CM Kejriwal said, “I have nothing personal against you. I regret the same. Let us put the incident behind us and bring the court proceedings to a closure.” Kejriwal and Gadkari have filed a joint application seeking withdrawal of the defamation case in Delhi’s Patiala House Court.
Kejriwal is also facing a defamation case filed against him by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Delhi CM had accused Jaitley of doing corruption during his tenure as the president of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Earlier, Kejriwal had apologised to Bikram Majithia for leveling some unverified allegations around Punjab’s drug issue during state Assembly elections in 2017. The apology soon turned into a big controversy, leading to the resignation of party state unit chief Bhagwant Mann and co-president Aman Arora from their respective posts. Later, Kejriwal met 10 of the total 20 dissenting party MLAs from Punjab and explained them the reason behind his move that led to a controversy. All 10 MLAs came out united after attending the meeting at Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s residence.
In the meeting, Kejriwal reportedly explained to his MLAs that number of defamation cases against him were eating into party’s resources. He communicated that the decision was taken with the aim of investing energy into development-related work for the people of Delhi. Speaking to media after the meet, Suna MLA Aman Arora said that there was some “miscommunication” between party’s state and central leadership.
Arora, who had resigned in protest, indicated that Kejriwal’s explanation has been accepted by party leaders. “The reason he (Kejriwal) had apologised is that he has several cases against him in many parts of the country. And some of them are in the fast track courts,” he told reporters.