Mumba: The Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday dissolved its Maharashtra unit, evoking a sharp reaction from its National Executive member Mayank Gandhi, who said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is "hell-bent on destroying" the organisation.
The decision, posted on AAP website, said the party's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) has dissolved "all bodies in Maharashtra."
Party sources said the move followed the state unit's reluctance to act against Gandhi, the organisation's best known face in Maharashtra, who had taken on Kejriwal through his blogs when the Delhi Chief Minister was locked in a bitter feud with now expelled AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. They said the leadership had still "not forgotten" it.
"There was pressure on the state unit to act against Mayank (Gandhi) and it was not in favour of it. The party leaders in Delhi have still not forgotten about the blogs which Mayank had written.
"Plus, the Mumbai unit is marred by factionalism with one section having the support of the party leadership in Delhi, while there is another section supporting Mayank," said a senior state party leader who requested anonymity.
The leader also termed the decision as "unfortunate".
Reacting to the development, Gandhi alleged that Kejriwal was determined to finish the party whose members have "got overpowered by gutter politics".
"AAP people had entered politics by forming a party to clean the gutter, but unfortunately on the contrary, members got overpowered by the gutter politics," Gandhi told PTI.
Gandhi, who contested the Lok Sabha polls from Northwest Mumbai constituency, took to twitter to express "sadness" over the development. "Beautifully functioning Maharashtra teams dissolved. Sad that politics has won!" he tweeted.
"Let the high command expel me from the party, but the truth is that the high command himself is hellbent to finish the party's root in Maharashtra," he said.
Gandhi had strongly spoken against removal of founder members of AAP like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from the PAC in March and said he will continue to raise his voice.
In a veiled reference to Kejriwal, Gandhi said, "It is now true that AAP has only one voice in the party. Whosoever, puts different voice, not matching with high command, he is kicked out."
"Two type of politics, one that works with the people on the ground and other that do chaplusi in Delhi. The second type has won. Jai ho.," (sic) he tweeted.