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AAP Mumbai faces dissent after split in Delhi; may not contest civic polls

Mumbai(PTI): The split in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi has strained relations in the party’s state unit as well. So much so, that the party’s aim of contesting civic polls two years from now is looking doubtful.

A day after Mayank Gandhi, a member of the party’s national executive committee, wrote a blog post perceived as anti-Arvind Kejriwal, Maharashtra AAP leaders slammed him for his “zeal to usurp power” and his “breach of party discipline”. Anjali Damania and Preeti Sharma-Menon, the party’s irrigation scam crusader and former state spokesperson respectively, slammed Gandhi, together with Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, two leaders who have been removed from the party’s political affairs committee. In several tweets, Damania said that the trio owe explanations to the party.

“It was because of Mayank that both Preeti and I quit,” said Damania. Menon echoed the allegations levelled by Damania. “The party has always differed (in opinion) from Yogendra Yadav. There are a few people who have been occupying their posts for a very long time. (Among them is) Subhash Ware, who is close to Yadav. He is occupying two posts and should not be doing so. Party rule is one person-one post.”

About Gandhi, she said, “Mayank has always been looking to usurp power in the party. While it is partly true that I left for personal reasons, it was also because of his constant attempts to take more power that I left,” said Menon.

“About the elections, we will take a decision in our national council that is to be held on March 27-28,” said Damania.

But Gandhi refuted the allegations. He said that the duo had said something different earlier. He also denied that his March 4 blog, which more or less indicted Arvind Kejriwal’s role in the ouster of Yadav and Bhushan, was anti-Kejriwal. “If you read the blog carefully, it’s about principles of transparency… it’s projected as if it was anti-AK. Far from truth,” tweeted Gandhi. In his new blog on Saturday, Gandhi spoke of “strengthening the party” and stated that the blog post should be rightly perceived.

Ware on the other hand stated that he had never deviated from the principle of ‘one person, one post’. “Membership of a committee is never considered as a post. So no question of holding two posts,” said Ware. About civic elections, Ware said that no decision had been taken as yet.