In a setback to the AAP, one of its top leaders, Ashutosh, announced his resignation from the party today, citing “very very personal reasons”, although Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he will not accept it “in this lifetime".

Ashutosh’s resignation is being interpreted differently with some Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) insiders claiming that he was unhappy over the party’s decision to send a businessman to the Rajya Sabha from Delhi. Others claimed that he was “angry” over being denied a Rajya Sabha ticket by the party.

The convenor of AAP’s Delhi unit, Gopal Rai, said Ashutosh was not “angry”, adding, “Everyone has the right to take personal decisions.”

Ashutosh described his association with the Kejriwal-led party as “beautiful and revolutionary”, while urging the media to respect his privacy and not to chase him for sound bites.

Reacting to the development, Kejriwal, who is the AAP national convener, tweeted: “How can we ever accept ur resignation (sic)?,” and added in Hindi, “ Na, is janam mein to nahin (not in this lifetime)".

The chief spokesperson of AAP’s Delhi unit, Saurabh Bhardwaj, told PTI that Ashutosh’s resignation was not accepted and he was urged to reconsider his decision.

“Every journey has an end. My association with AAP, which was beautiful/ revolutionary has also an end. I have resigned from the party/requested PAC to accept the same.

“It is purely from a very, very personal reason. Thanks to party/ all of them who supported me throughout,” Ashutosh tweeted earlier.

The journalist-turned-politician had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Chandni Chowk on an AAP ticket and managed to bag over three lakh votes, more than Congress veteran Kapil Sibal and over a lakh less than the BJP’s Harsh Vardhan.

Senior AAP functionary and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said, “We all will request Ashutosh to take his resignation back.” He, however, added that his relationship with Ashutosh as a “true and dependable friend” will continue lifelong. “His separation from the party is not less than a heart rending incident for me,” Singh tweeted.

Ashutosh, who was a member of the top decision-making body of the AAP -- the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) -- was “indifferent and less active” towards the party matters of late, a senior party leader said.