New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has accepted an apology from Arvind Kejriwal and may drop a defamation case he had filed in 2015 after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief called him corrupt.
“Though we belong to two different political parties, I believe that we should end the unsavoury litigations between us and service the people of our country to the best of our abilities,” said the letter from the Chief Minister of Delhi, who has been on an apology spree to extricate himself from a tangle of defamation suits.
The Finance Minister had asked for Rs. 10 crore as damages after Mr Kejriwal and other AAP leaders accused him of corruption during his 13-year tenure as the boss of Delhi’s cricket association DDCA. Mr Jaitley filed a second case last year after Mr Kejriwal’s lawyer Ram Jethmalani used a slur while cross-examining him and said the term had been authorised by his client.
“…I have recently discovered that the information and imputation contained are unfounded and unwarranted and I was clearly misinformed into making these allegations,” said the letter from Mr Kejriwal and other AAP leaders to Mr Jaitley.
The senior minister and BJP veteran had also named Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, Kumar Vishwas, Deepak Bajpai and Raghav Chadha in his lawsuit. People familiar with the matter said a joint petition will be filed by the AAP leaders and Mr Jaitley in a Delhi court seeking to withdraw the case.
Last month, Mr Kejriwal offered three such apologies to come out of the legal morass of more than 30 defamation cases. AAP leaders say the taxman-turned-politician decided to “amicably sort” out pending cases since they were “taking a toll on the already strained resources of the party and individuals.”
Mr Kejriwal started his sorrys with Punjab ex-minister Bikram Majithia. Then he apologised to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal.
After his latest apology today, Mr Kejriwal was derided by BJP leaders on social media. “One more apology! From now on Delhi will not take any statement by Kejriwal-ji seriously,” BJP parliamentarian Manoj Tiwari tweeted in Hindi.
Mr Kejriwal upset a section of his party in Punjab for apologizing to Bikram Majithia, an Akali Dal leader. AAP lawmaker Bhagwant Mann quit as the party’s Punjab unit chief and Aman Arora resigned as his deputy.