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AAP Will Restructure Itself: Arvind Kejriwal

Battling severe criticism, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal today announced steps to significantly overhaul the party from the grassroots to the national level and attempted to pacify the dissidents by admitting that he too makes mistakes.

At the end of the party's three-day national executive, Kejriwal announced 'Mission Vistar (expansion)' under which all existing committees of the party will be revamped and "new people" representing various sections will be included with the next one year.

Under the restructuring plan, AAP's highest decision making body the Political Affairs Committee and the national Executive will also be re-constituted, he said addressing a press conference, flanked by top brass of the party.

The party has formed a six-member committee, headed by convenor of party's Karnataka unit Prithvi Reddy, to suggest restructuring of the party.

About infighting in Aam Aadmi Party, Kejriwal said having differences in a "democratic" party was quite normal and hoped that AAP will grow stronger.

Trying to put behind his rift with senior leader Yogendra Yadav, Kejriwal said, "He is my elder brother. He has the right to scold me. I take his suggestions seriously. I am a human and when I make mistakes. Elder brothers like Yogendra Yadav point it out to me."

Yadav had quit from AAP Political Affairs Committee after charging Kejriwal with "falling prey to personality cult", while Ilmi had resigned from the party saying a coterie surrounding the former chief minister was running the party.

Yesterday, the AAP National Executive had rejected resignation of Yadav and Shazia Ilmi who had alleged "lack of internal democracy" in the party.

"It's time to restructure the party. The entire party will be reconstituted from booth to national level. New people will be picked. We will go to village and will bring more people in the party. We'll call it 'Mission Vistar'," Kejriwal said.

He said AAP performed well in Lok Sabha elections, though it won only four seats.

"Has it ever happened that a small young party won four seats in its first election. Despite a (Modi) wave, we did well," he said.

AAP had fielded over 430 candidates in LS polls but failed to win any seat in Delhi, where it had registered a stunning victory in assembly polls in December last year.

Kejriwal said Congress was completely rejected by people in the Lok Sabha polls while AAP, which had bagged the second highest vote share in Delhi after BJP, had given hope for an "alternative politics".

The AAP chief also wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Modi is the country's new Prime Minister. We wish him well. Hope he will fulfill people's dreams".

Yesterday the AAP chief had said efforts will be made to bring back Ilmi to the party fold.

During the National Executive meeting, the party's prospects in states like Maharashtra and Haryana, where assembly polls are slated later this year, were also discussed.

Kejriwal said party will decide about contesting the assembly polls in these two state after more deliberations and a report by a top committee of the party.

The fledgling party had made a stunning debut in the Delhi Assembly polls in December by winning 28 out of 70 seats and even formed a government. But Kejriwal quit as Chief Minister after 49 days on the issue of Janlokpal Bill.

Kejriwal and his close associates have come under attack following party's dismal performance in the Lok Sabha polls.

On government's proposal to increase FDI in defence to 100 per cent, Kejriwal opposed the move.

He also attacked BJP for the worsening power situation in Delhi. "BJP should fix the power crisis in Delhi," he said.

The AAP leader also appealed to the Centre not to raise gas prices as decided by the UPA government.

He also welcomed setting up of a SIT on black money.

Senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan said, "The government has formed SIT to bring back the black black after Supreme court's order and but its real test lies not in constituting the SIT but on taking action".

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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