Arvind Kejriwal Begins AAP Reconstruction, Bigger Role Likely For Kumar Vishwas

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Arvind Kejriwal Begins AAP Reconstruction, Bigger Role Likely For Kumar Vishwas

Arvind Kejriwal is restructuring the Aam Aadmi Party, starting with an outreach to the over 60 MLAs


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Arvind Kejriwal pacifies Kumar Vishwas by removing MLA from key post
  2. Mr Kejriwal to meet all 64 AAP legislators one on one, get feedback
  3. Changes in AAP's national team expected, Mr Vishwas to get bigger role
A week after he was dealt a deadly blow in the Delhi civic elections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has begun reconstructive surgery of his Aam Aadmi Party, starting with an outreach to the over 60 legislators who had won the party a massive mandate in assembly elections in the national capital just two years ago. Up ahead, said sources, are major changes in the party's leadership structure that could see leaders like AAP's founder member Kumar Vishwas play a greater role.

Mr Kejriwal pacified an upset Mr Vishwas yesterday by removing from a key party post Amanatullah Khan, a Delhi legislator who had accused him of attempting to replace the party chief. Many AAP lawmakers from both Delhi and Punjab had backed Mr Vishwas against what they saw as an attempt to scuttle his chances at being elevated in the party; he is currently only responsible for overseas funding.

From today, Mr Kejriwal will meet each of his 64 Delhi legislators one on one and will gather feedback on the party's work at the ground level. He will also meet AAP's volunteers, seen as the young party's backbone in its dream surge to prominence, but who seem to have lost steam after successive defeats this year - first in the Punjab and Goa assembly elections and then the drubbing the Delhi civic polls.

Mr Kejriwal has been accused of losing touch with the grassroots in recent days as his ambitions to expand AAP nationally have grown and sources close to him said he is keen to refurbish his image of a transparent and accessible leader. They also said that he is being extremely cautious in determining new roles for leaders in AAP.

Kumar Vishwas had on Saturday rued that the AAP chief is now surrounded by "yes men" who misguided him into blaming what he alleged were rigged electronic voting machines or EVMs for his party's loss to the BJP in Delhi.

A meeting called by Mr Kejriwal of top AAP leaders later assessed that the election drubbing in fact indicates an urgent need for organisational restructuring. Top leaders like Sanjay Singh, Dilip Pandey and Durgesh Pathak resigned last week from key party posts owning responsibility for the Delhi defeat and Mr Kejriwal will first appoint a new Delhi AAP team. He has already named Delhi minister Gopal Rai to head it in Dilip Pandey's place.

Changes in the national team are expected next, said sources, and that is when Mr Vishwas is expected to be given a bigger role by Mr Kejriwal, though it is not known yet what that role will be.
 


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