AAP in huddle; Kejriwal asks councillors ‘not to betray party’

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New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) The AAP went into a huddle on Thursaday to mull over its unimpressive show in the civic polls in Delhi, as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged his newly-elected councillors “not to betray AAP”.

During the day, Punjab party affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh and his deputy Durgesh Pathak stepped down, following the resignations of Delhi AAP Convenor Dilip Pandey, Delhi campaign chief Ashish Talwar, and legislator Alka Lamba on Wednesday.

The Aam Aadmi Party won in 48 of the 270 wards of the three Delhi Municipal Corporations, polls for which were held on Sunday. The BJP swept the elections with 181.

Addressing the new AAP councillors at his residence here, Kejriwal administered them a “pledge of honesty” and cautioned them not to let themselves be lured or involved in corruption.

He claimed the three municipal corporations of Delhi were “most corrupt” civic bodies in India.

He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would try its best to wean them away but urged them to remain united.

“Always keep your recording devices (in mobile phones) on so that we can know if any such effort is made.”

Kejriwal asked the AAP councillors to ensure a check on corruption in the civic bodies by raising their voice against it.

“This party has emerged from an anti-corruption movement; so, please work with full honesty,” he said.

“Maintain honesty and have the courage to raise voice against corruption in the MCDs. They (BJP) might send you to jail or try to suppress your voice, but do not fear,” the Delhi Chief Minister said.

Kejriwal also told the newly-elected councillors not to leave movement against corruption even if someone lured them to join other parties by offering huge money.

“It is a very pious movement. If you leave AAP, this movement, the people will then never be happy,” Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal’s AAP is battling a crisis following the unimpressive show in the elections to the three municipal corporations. The polls were held on April 23 and votes counted on April 26.

Kejriwal also held a separate, closed-door meeting with the AAP legislators.

Party sources told IANS that they discussed the poll performance and ways to “reinvent the momentum from the grass-roots”.

A key decision towards this end was the appointment of Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai as the AAP’s Delhi Convener after Pandey’s resignation.

“Rai has been chosen for the post. However, any final decision will be taken in a meeting of the party’s Political Affairs Committee,” a party source said.

–IANS

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