AAP 2The rift within AAP escalated today with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal terming it as an “ugly battle”, while his camp launched an all out war accusing senior leaders Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan of wanting to have a “vice-like grip” on the party.

Breaking his silence for the first time on the issue, Kejriwal said he was “hurt and pained” by what was going on within the outfit as all this has “betrayed” the trust imposed by the people.

Kejriwal, who is the party’s national convener, said he refuses to be drawn into this “ugly battle” and will concentrate on Delhi’s governance.

On the other hand, Kejriwal’s camp launched an all out attack on the Bhushans.
Ashish Khetan, a key member of the AAP’s Delhi unit, accused party patron Shanti Bhushan and his son and daughter — Prashant and Shalini — of wanting to control all the wings of the party.

“Those who are floating the ridiculous one man party theory wanted to make AAP one family party,” Khetan said on twitter.

“Father son daughter trio of Shanti Prashant & Shalini (sic) wanted to have a vice-like grip on all party wings, from PAC to policy committee to National Executive,” he further said.

Ashutosh, another party leader close to Kejriwal, said Bhushan should have raised his issues at the NE meeting and not before the media.

Shanti Bhushan, a founder member, sought to play down the rift, asking both Prashant and Yadav to support Kejriwal.

“Differences within the party are not good. Prashant and Yogendra(Yadav) should support Arvind (Kejriwal),” he said in a letter to the party’s national executive.

Sharp differences have come to the fore within AAP with allegations that Prashant and Yadav were trying to “remove” Kejriwal from the post of party convener.

AAP has convened a meeting of its national executive tomorrow to decide on all issues, including the latest controversy over differences in the party. Sources said a proposal may be mooted in the NE meet to remove Bhushan and Yadav tomorrow.

Sources added that Kejriwal is unlikely to attend the meeting tomorrow.