IT took a court hearing to bring the two warring AAP leaders together.
On Tuesday morning, Karkardooma metropolitan magistrate Mayuri Singh gave Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Yogendra Yadav “one last chance” to appear in an alleged defamation case. Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia turned up in the afternoon, followed by Yadav. This was the first face-to-face meeting between Yadav and Kejriwal after the Delhi results and the infighting that followed.
In the 16 minutes they got together before the hearing, Yadav broke the ice. Waving at Kejriwal, he went to him, greeting him with folded hands. No words were exchanged. But after an advocate offered Yadav her seat next to Kejriwal, the two smiled and whispered into each other’s ears.
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Sisodia, who kept Kejriwal engaged showing him his cellphone, did not say a word to Yadav even once. When the judge turned up, the three stood up. “As the the presiding officer is on leave, I will fix the case for the purpose already fixed and will give you the date. I have marked the presence of the three accused, they can leave,” the magistrate said.
If the courtroom meeting was their first face-to-face after the spat, the first signs of reconciliation had begun Monday night before Kejriwal returned to Delhi from Bangalore.
Prashant Bhushan said he had sent Kejriwal a message, asking to meet him. By night, Kejriwal met other senior leaders, who had aligned themselves against Yadav and Bhushan. Sources said Kejriwal expressed the view that if a reconciliation was possible and talks were possible with the two leaders, then efforts should be made.
It was then that Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, Kumar Vishwas and Ashish Khetan met Yadav at his residence late Monday night — it lasted over two hours. They emerged saying that the meeting had gone well, and many more would follow.
Efforts continued on Tuesday morning with leaders of the Kejriwal camp reaching out to Bhushan. Sources, however, said he made it clear that he “did not trust” the Delhi AAP leaders and would see only Kejriwal. In his reply, Kejriwal said they would certainly meet but he was “presently busy with the vote on account”.