AAP drops Bhushan, Yadav from political committee

AAP drops Bhushan, Yadav from political committee

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday dropped two founder members, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, from its top decision-making Political Affairs Committee (PAC).

The action signals Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s crackdown on dissidence and tightening his grip over the party.

In a move to stem the first major internal crisis in its three-year history, Yadav
was also removed from the post of party’s national spokesperson.Yadav and Bhushan, who have repeatedly criticised Kejriwal in the past few days, were voted out of the body in a six-hour meeting of the party’s national executive, which rejected the Delhi chief minister’s resignation as AAP’s national convener.

Of the 19 national executive members who attended the meeting, 11 raised their hands in favour of removing them after accusations that Yadav and Bhushan conspired to unseat Kejriwal and worked against the party’s interests.

Those who were against their removal included Prof Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha who had tried for a compromise formula. Yadav and Bhushan held their ground, saying that they had only spoken out against  the fledgling  party straying from the core ideals of internal democracy and transparency that set it apart from the Congress or the BJP.

Apparently, the AAP leaders spent hours trying to persuade Yadav and Bhushan to accept a face-saving exit. The two leaders reportedly resisted the offer to "resign gracefully" and sought a vote on their fate.

The broad message that the AAP body sought to send was that the party stood firmly behind Kejriwal,  who took charge as Delhi's chief minister last month. Senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, emerging out of the meeting, said, "In the national executive meeting of the AAP, the party decided to remove Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the political affairs committee. Their future responsibility will be decided later. There were no personal differences."

After the meeting, a visibly upset Bhushan said, "Yogendra Yadav and I are not part of the PAC any more. But I am in party." On his part, Yadav said, "I just want to say that a decision has been taken in the national executive. I am not authorised to speak. Whatever responsibility party will give me, I will take it. I will work on whatever the party assigns me." Sources said Kejriwal did not want to be part of the meeting. He is due to fly to Bengaluru on Thursday.

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