Kejri's speech sets tone for stormy meet

Kejri's speech sets tone for stormy meet

Kejri's speech sets tone for stormy meet

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Council (NC) meeting in New Delhi on Saturday started with party convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal making a speech accusing the dissenting leaders of “stabbing the party in its back”.

He said Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav tried to defeat the party during the Delhi Assembly elections.  He also threatened to resign from the party if these leaders were allowed to stay. 

Party sources said Kejriwal began his speech by recounting the AAP’s spectacular comeback after big disappointments following by his resignation from the post of Delhi chief minister in 2014 and defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. “But without losing any time, he began attacking Yadav and Bhushan. He asked the members to make a choice between him and the duo,” said an NC member. “He was abusive and harsh in his tone.”

Yadav said: “He gave a dramatic speech for around an hour, and it was full of allegations against us. He threatened to resign if we were not removed. He also accused Shanti Bhushan of anti-party activities without naming him. Then, 10 people, including MLAs like Kapil Mishra, shouted slogans calling us traitors. The drama went on for 5-7 minutes, during which he stood like a statue.”

The resolution for removal of the dissenting leaders was moved by Kejriwal's close associate and Delhi Deputy  Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Some NC members, including Patiala MP Dharmcveer Gandhi, wanted to express their opinion but were not allowed.

Both Yadav and Bhushan wanted to clarify their positions, but were not allowed to speak and told to give their clarification in writing.  

Ramzan Chaudhary, a member from Haryana, said he was physically dragged during the meeting, and consequently sustained a fracture. “The meeting was overtaken by MLAs and their goons,” said Bhushan who, along with Yadav,  Anand Kumar, Ajit Jha, Gandhi and others, boycotted the rest of the meeting. 

“Sisodia put the resolution to vote without any discussion, and declared it passed. Gopal Rai gave a blank look when we raised objections,” said Yadav.

There was a huge mobilisation of supporters of Kejriwal outside the venue. They displayed placards and shouted slogans against the dissenting leaders.

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