Kejriwal had accused the Prakash Singh Badal government, especially Mr Majithia, of patronising drug mafia and criminals.
New Delhi: In a bid to resolve the defamation mess piled against its leaders, the Aam Aadmi Party may opt for out-of-court settlements in these cases, including the Rs 10 crore defamation suit filed by finance minister Arun Jaitley on chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in the DDCA scam. Earlier in the day, Mr Kejriwal apologised to former Punjab Cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia who he accused of being a part of the drug trade in Punjab. Speculations are rife that the AAP might now reach out to others as the party already has 20 defamation cases against it.
“I have now learnt that allegations are unfounded and there should be no politics on such issues. Because of my allegations made against you at various political rallies, public meetings, TV programmes, print, electronic and social media, you filed a defamation case against us in Hon’ble Court at Amritsar. I hereby withdraw all my statements and allegations made against you and apologise for the same,” Mr Kejriwal wrote to the Akali Dal leader in the document termed “an offer of regret.”
Mr Majithia had filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and two other AAP leaders, Sanjay Singh and Ashish Khetan, in May 2016 after they repeatedly targeted him over the problem of drugs in Punjab while campaigning for the Punjab Assembly elections.
Mr Kejriwal had accused the Prakash Singh Badal government, especially Mr Majithia, of patronising drug mafia and criminals. At one public meeting, Mr Kejriwal promised his audience that he would “drag” the Akali Dal leader “by his collar” to jail once he comes to power. Reportedly, Mr Majithia, has accepted the apology and will withdraw the suit. “It is the time to forget, forgive and move on,” he said.
This is Mr Kejriwal’s second apology in the last seven months and is expected to serve as a strategy with which the AAP is expected to deal with the string of defamation suits filed against its leaders. In August last year, Mr Kejriwal had apologised to BJP leader from Haryana Avtar Singh Bhadana to end a bitterly fought defamation suit. Mr Bhadana had been called corrupt by the AAP leader back in 2014.
The Delhi Chief Minister has been sued separately along with five other AAP leaders by Finance minister Arin Jaitley for accusing him of corruption during his 13-year tenure as the head of the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA). Mr Kejriwal had received a blow after noted jurist Ram Jethmalani had dropped out as a counsel for Mr Kejriwal in the case.