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AAP splits in Chennai before it takes off

Chennai, Jan. 7: Chennai has not even had a chance to host the triumphant Arvind Kejriwal but his party colleagues have started quarrelling and falling out with each other.

The Tamil Nadu unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) split today with two rival groups claiming to be the “real” party at separate news meets in which each dubbed the other “unauthorised”.

The first meet was held by AAP state treasurer Anand Ganesh at a newly opened party office on Taylor’s Road, a posh residential area in central Chennai. He claimed Kejriwal would attend a state-level conference in Chennai at January-end.

Ganesh then went on to “disclose” that six committee members had been “expelled” from the AAP’s Chennai unit for anti-party activities.

Within an hour, the rival group comprising AAP’s state secretary Balakrishnan, convener K.P. Narayanan and four other office-bearers denied they had been expelled.

Addressing reporters at another office in Poonamallee High Road, they claimed this was the “real office” of the AAP and that Ganesh had no power to expel anyone.

“We had asked Ganesh to furnish accounts of the state unit. But he walked away with all the records and the computer and started a new office in Taylor’s Road. He has no power to expel anyone,” claimed Balakrishnan.

The split has left a bad taste in the mouth of AAP volunteers who want the central leadership to name a credible set of leaders. But the break-up is in keeping with the political trend in Tamil Nadu where splits and counter splits are quite normal.