“An apology by Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Arvind Kejriwal to former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia was not a sudden development,” a senior leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has claimed.
The Punjab leader who does not want to be named but was part of the behind-the-scenes talks said: “It was the consequence of a series of closed-door meetings between AAP and SAD leaders in New Delhi and Chandigarh”.
Among the AAP leaders involved in the informal meeting was Ashish Khetan, who is said to have made frequent trips to Chandigarh but kept his visits under wraps, claims the SAD leader.
He said “Other than Kejriwal and Majithia, leaders of both parties met at least four times.”
Those who played a key role in bringing the AAP leaders to the negotiation table were Akali leaders from Delhi, including Manjinder Singh. Sirsa, who was elected to the Delhi assembly on BJP ticket in the 2017 by-poll. Sirsa is also the general secretary of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) refused to comment on his role in the talks.
An anonymous AAP leader said “the apology from Kejriwal was “stage-managed” and leaders of both AAP and SAD met several times before that.”
Himmat Singh Shergill AAP’s former head of the legal cell said something had transpired behind the scenes leading to the apology and he would take it up with Kejriwal as to why he took this drastic step.