After Kejriwal apologizes for 'defaming' SAD leader, Bhagwant Mann resigns
AAP leader Bhagwant Mann has resigned from the party after Arvind Kejriwal apologized to Bikram Singh Majithia, a former Akali Dal leader of Punjab, in a defamation case. Majithia had sued Kejriwal last year for accusing him of involvement in drug trade during an AAP rally in Amritsar. But after the Delhi CM's apology, he announced he would withdraw the case.
The written apology from Kejriwal said, "In the past, I made certain statements against you regarding your alleged involvement in the drug trade. These statements became a political issue. "Now I have found that the allegations are unfounded, and hence, there should be no politics on such issues. I hereby withdraw all the statements and allegations made against you and apologise for the same."
The AAP released a statement on Thursday saying Kejriwal was facing several civil, criminal cases for defamation, putting up poster/hoarding advertisements during election campaigns, organizing assemblies and staging public protests in Delhi, and other parts of India including Varanasi, Amethi, Punjab, Assam, Maharastra and Goa.
AAP claims Kejriwal wants to "amicably sort out" all his defamation cases. Most notably Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sued him for Rs. 10 crore in 2015 for accusing him of corruption as the president of Delhi and District Cricket Association. Several other leaders including BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri, Congress leader Pawan Khera and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari have also sued Kejriwal for defamation.
However, AAP believes the cases to be their political rivals' trick to keep them distracted/occupied. Moreover, Delhi cases have been put on fast track, forcing AAP legislators/ministers to attend hearings almost daily, "taking a toll on already constrained resources of the party/individuals," AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said. But AAP is determined to not get demotivated and has therefore decided to sort the cases amicably.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal's need to defame other leaders (often without proof) to attract attention is worth noting. It doesn't bode well for the chief of a party already scarred by infighting and public scandals to resort to cheap tricks to remain in the public eye and then waste precious time cleaning the mess. Kejriwal cannot rise by pulling others down. It's time he understood.