9:13 pm - Friday November 6, 2015

Arvind Kejriwal wants to stay out of Haryana and focus on Delhi

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NEW DELHI: Singed by Aam Aadmi Party’s drubbing in the national elections, its convenor Arvind Kejriwal is no longer in favour of the party contesting assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra this year.

In an interaction with party’s Delhi volunteers on Google Hangout on Saturday night, Kejriwal said the party should not fight assembly elections elsewhere this year and instead focus all its resources on Delhi.

Although the party convenor clarified that this was his personal opinion, the statement could ruffle feathers within the party as senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav has been making public statements about AAP’s foray into Haryana this year. “If you remember I think on January 4 or 5 I had said that we should not fight Lok Sabha elections and even if we have to, it should be in and around Delhi.
There is now an opinion that we should not have fought the Lok Sabha elections on such a large scale. I think we should not repeat this mistake. We should use all our resources for Delhi elections. But that’s my opinion,” Kejriwal said in response to a question asked by a volunteer. He then requested volunteers to collate volunteer feedback to help the party make a decision on this issue. Kejriwal’s statement has come just a few weeks after his differences with Yogendra Yadav had come out in the open. Yadav told ET that a decision on contesting state elections will be taken after consulting party volunteers. “This (what Kejriwal said) is his personal opinion and the party has not taken a final decision on this matter. The party is in the process of consulting volunteers,” he said. According to sources in the party, this issue was first raised during the meeting of AAP’s national executive earlier this month. “The matter came up and some members were not in favour of the party fighting elections outside Delhi without consolidating its position here,” a party member said.

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