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Days after saying sorry to Punjab politician Bikram Majithia, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today apologised Nitin Gadkari for his ‘unverified allegations’ against the Union minister. In a letter he wrote: “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 has also reportedly sought apology from Congress leader Kapil Sibal and is likely to further tender apology to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The remark came after MP Sangrur Bhagwant Mann resigned as the party’s Punjab chief after AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal apologised for accusing SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia for being involved in the drugs trade.
Kejriwal’s move landed the state leadership in a crisis and it had contemplated breaking away and forming a separate unit.
Kejriwal and Nitin Gadkari have filed a joint application seeking to withdraw the defamation case in Delhi’s Patiala Court. The application comes after Kejriwal submitted a letter regretting making defamatory remarks against Gadkari.
Sources say Mr Kejriwal, the chief of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), intends to get rid of all 33 defamation cases against him through similar out of court settlements. The cases, say AAP leaders, have been a drain on the party’s much money and resources. Among those on Mr Kejriwal’s “sorry” list is Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who filed a defamation case after the AAP chief accused him of corruption during his tenure as the president of Delhi’s cricket board DDCA. Mr Jaitley went personally to court to file the case, along with three union ministers as witnesses. He also asked for Rs. 10 crore to compensate for what he called defamatory allegations.
The advantage of the distinct nature of national and state entities of the party would be that while their fortunes are not linked, they would gain from each other but not suffer on each other’s account, Sandhu had written. Notably, senior AAP leader H S Phoolka asked state legislators to seek “autonomy” rather than going for a separate party “in the best interest of Punjab”.
“In best interest of Pb, my suggestion to Pb AAP MLAs- demand autonomy, not a separate party. AAP Punjab should function as a regional party with a alliance with national AAP. In Punjab matters, total independence and on national issues, go by National leadership (sic),” Phoolka today tweeted.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to an SAD leader for accusing him of drugs trade pushed the party’s Punjab unit into a crisis as the state leadership contemplated breaking away and forming a separate unit, saying the “meek surrender” was painful and very unfortunate.
Kejriwal’s apology to former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia triggered upheaval in the state unit as AAP’s Punjab unit president Bhagwant Mann and co-president Aman Arora resigned from their posts.Mann tweeted, “I’m resigning as a president of AAP Punjab… but my fight against drug mafia and all kind of corruption in Punjab will continue as an “Aam Aadmi” of Punjab (sic).” In a further jolt, the Lok Insaf Party (LIP), AAP’s ally in the state, announced to break its alliance with the party in the wake of Kejriwal’s apology.
In 2014, the Delhi chief minister had allegedly made a defamatory statement against Gadkari, for which Gadkari filed a criminal defamation case against Kejriwal.
Kejriwal is also facing a criminal defamation case against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Jaitley had filed a defamation case after Kejriwal, who accused Jaitley of doing corruption during his tenure as the president of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). The finance minister had sought Rs 10 crore in compensation for the alleged defamatory allegations made by Kejriwal.
Recently, Kejriwal also issued an apology to Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia for repeatedly targeting him over the drug problem in Punjab.
Nearly 20 defamation cases have been filed against Kejriwal in various courts by several distinguished politicians.
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