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Yogendra, Bhushan launch open attack on Kejriwal

Aam Aadmi Party leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan address a a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: V. Sudershan   | Photo Credit: V_Sudershan

In further >escalation of infighting, AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav on Friday mounted an attack on party convenor Arvind Kejriwal, accusing him of stifling internal democracy and adopting unfair means to capture power.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the two leaders alleged that any issue raised by them was being projected as questioning Mr. Kejriwal’s leadership and attempts to remove him from the post of AAP’s national convenor.

Mr. >Bhushan even claimed that Mr. Kejriwal had suggested that he will form a regional party with all party MLAs saying “he cannot work with us“.

The attack on Mr. Kejriwal by the two founding members of the party came a day before the crucial meeting of the AAP’s national council which is likely to deliberate on the fate of Mr. Bhushan and >Mr. Yadav and other major issues.

Mr. Yadav said Mr. Bhushan and he were fighting to “save the soul of the struggle” that gave birth to the party.

Mr. Yadav said: “It (the AAP) is not an ordinary party, it was born out of a revolution to clean the system, end corruption and give power to the common people. People have high hopes from this party.”

“But the developments in the last one month have disappointed many. We are fighting to save the soul of the struggle that gave birth to this party.”

The AAP is the only party where questions of transparency and internal democracy are at least being discussed, Mr. Yadav said.

Addressing a press conference with Mr. Bhushan, Mr. Yadav said: “Does the party which professes in swaraj have swaraj in itself… in its own affairs?”

Terming the question of national convenor of the AAP as a non issue, Mr. Yadav asked, “Why is it that when one raises even a single question it is connected directly to Arvind Kejriwal.”

“All we suggested was that internal Lokpal at least examine issues such as alleged horse trading, Delhi Law Minister’s fake degree and independence of local party bodies,” he said.

Posing a series of questions to the AAP top brass, Mr. Yadav said, “Will the AAP end up becoming another regional party? Or will its national ambitions persist?

“Will the AAP practice the transparency that it preaches to other parties or end up like Congress or BJP?”

Alleging that Mr. Yadav and he had been “repeatedly told to resign by those close to Arvind Kejriwal”, Mr. Bhushan said that he had texted Mr. Kejriwal to solve this issue. “It’s been 11 days since, but he didn’t have time for us.”



“We were told time and again that ‘ >Arvind Kejriwal doesn’t want to work’ with us,” he claimed.

While further alleging that Mr. Kejriwal wanted to form a breakaway unit of all 67 AAP MLAs in Delhi, Mr. Bhushan said, “Arvind Kejriwal told me he was the National Convenor, would do as he deemed fit.



“Arvind Kejriwal told me he was never part of any organisation where his authority wasn’t supreme.”



Mr. Bhushan, said, “Time and again, I told Arvind Kejriwal that having only a clear conscience wasn’t enough.”



“Told Arvind Kejriwal that the means, and not always just the end, also matter,” he added.



Dismissing reports of Mr. Yadav’s and his resignation from the party as white lies, Mr. Bhushan said that they had never asked Mr. Kejriwal to step down as national convenor.



“That they agreed to all our demands is also a lie; neither is the party yet under RTI nor is there internal swaraj.”



He also demanded that the March 28, 2015 national executive meeting of the party to be videographed “in interests of transparency”.



Mr. Yadav said Mr. Kejriwal’s supporters had embarked on a slander campaign against him.



While endorsing Mr. Bhushan on the issue of Mr. Kejriwal’s resignation, AAP leader Anand Kumar said that Mr. Yadav Mr. Bhushan themselves supported the motion to step down from the political affairs committee.



Mr. Kumar said, “Whoever disagrees with us is wrong, a traitor, after power — these are usual allegations that accompany dissent.”



He said the national executive meeting should be broadcast live in the interests of transparency.



While daring party leader Aashish Khetan to prove that he broached topic of handling the party’s Haryana unit, Mr. Yadav said, “This isn’t a struggle for power, but a struggle to ensure internal democracy in and a new politics from the AAP.”



“Our struggle is for ensuring that the AAP delivers on the alternative politics that it professes,” he added. “We will put our suggestions in front of volunteers for consideration tomorrow.”



The AAP crisis



  • 04 March, 2015

    Party’s founder members Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav are voted out of its political affairs committee.

  • 06 March, 2015

    Senior party leader Mayank Gandhi protests ouster of Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan.

  • 08 March, 2015

    Yadav asks AAP workers to put an end to infighting.

  • 11 March, 2015

    Senior AAP leader from Mumbai Anjali Damania resigns from the party after allegations of “horse trading” surface against Mr. Kejriwal.

  • 16 March, 2016

    Senior leaders from the Kejriwal camp meet Mr. Yadav and hold discussions.

  • 26 March, 2015

    AAP ‘unity’ talks fail



(With agency inputs)


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