New Delhi, March 04, 2015(Agencies) Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal decided to stay away from Wednesday’s crucial party meeting even as his supporters demanded action against dissenting leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.

“I refuse to be drawn into this ugly battle. Will concentrate only on Delhi’s governance. I will not allow the confidence of the people to be broken,” Kejriwal tweeted. “I am deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party. This is betrayal of trust that Delhi reposed in us,” he added.

AAP sources said Prashant and Yadav offered to step down from the political affairs committee (PAC) in exchange for a defined role, in a conciliatory move. Yadav said he along with Prashant has always maintained that Kejriwal should lead the party. Prashant also denied that he was considering quitting the party. 

Earlier, a party panel comprising Anand Kumar, Pankaj Gupta and Gopal Rai met the warring factions to evolve a compromise formula. On the eve of the party meet, Prashant, however, spelt out his reservations about “one-man centric” party culture and pleaded for total transparency about receiving and spending donations.

In response, Ashish Khetan, a key member of the AAP’s Delhi unit and supporter of Kejriwal, accused party patron Shanti Bhushan and his son and daughter – Prashant and Shalini – of wanting to control the party. “Those who are floating the ridiculous one-man party theory wanted to make AAP one-family party,” Khetan tweeted. “The 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 the national executive,” he said.

Ashutosh, another supporter of Kejriwal, said: “Shanti Bhushan should explain what was the conspiracy to replace Arvind with Yogendra. Did it not tarnish the party image? Shanti Bhushan should explain why he said that Arvind should be replaced with Yogendra during elections and after the national executive meet. That is indiscipline.” Shanti Bhushan sought to play down the rift, asking both Prashant and Yadav to support Kejriwal.
“Differences within the party are not good. Prashant and Yogendra should support Arvind,” he said in a letter to the party’s national executive.

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