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Yogendra quits posts but not party

- Attempt to douse discontent against AAP leadership
Arvind Kejriwal, (above) Yogendra Yadav

New Delhi, May 31: Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav today resigned from all party posts, taking moral responsibility for the poor performance in Haryana, a state in his charge.

The move is being seen as an attempt to defuse growing discontent within the party towards the leadership.

Yadav resigned as the party’s Haryana affairs in-charge and as member of its political affairs committee. The AAP had failed to win a single seat in Haryana and Yadav himself had lost from the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat.

Another prominent AAP face in Haryana, Naveen Jaihind, also resigned as national executive member.

Yadav refused to speak about his resignation when contacted but tweeted later that he had not quit the party.

“Rumours about my quitting AAP are baseless. I am very much with the party and committed to working for it harder than ever,” the psephologist-turned-politician posted on Twitter.

The AAP rank and file are furious after the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle. The anger has been directed at the top leadership, which is accused of taking unilateral decisions, including that to contest too many Lok Sabha seats without adequate preparation.

Yadav’s resignation is being seen as an attempt to quell the anger and secure workers’ sympathy ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections. The election is expected later this year along with Haryana.

“We will talk to Yogendraji and Naveen Jaihind. They are still part of the party,” AAP spokesperson Sanjay Singh said.

Party chief Arvind Kejriwal choosing jail over bail in a defamation case filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari was also aimed at regaining the sympathy of party volunteers and voters.

Kejriwal has already acknowledged more than once that he had made a mistake in quitting as Delhi chief minister and promised a rehaul of the party’s organisational structure.

“The resignations offered… are for constructive reasons, for betterment of the party and nation at large,” said another AAP spokesperson, Dilip Pandey.

The AAP is worried its attempt to spread its reach across the country in the Lok Sabha elections after quitting the government in Delhi has not gone down well with voters and, to bounce back, it needs to regain people’s support.

Kejriwal has asked volunteers to go on a door-to-door campaign, acknowledging the mistake in quitting the government and asking for another chance to fulfil the party’s “pro-people” promises.