AAP sacks Yadav, Bhushan from national executive

AAP sacks Yadav, Bhushan from national executive

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday sacked founder-members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from its key National Executive after high drama, which saw Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal consolidating his position against dissenters.

Clearly indicating that he would stamp out any revolt against his leadership, Kejriwal got his supporters to “vote” them out of the key body in a show of strength at the AAP National Council (NC), which Yadav and Bhushan said went against every principle the party stood for.

Prof Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha, who were seen supporting Yadav and Bhushan's demand for internal democracy, were also removed from the National Executive.

Kejriwal did not vote, and left after making an hour-long speech, in which he tore into his critics within the party.

He also authorised minister Gopal Rai to chair the NC meeting when the vote was taken. He returned later in the evening, and made an emotional speech to his supporters.  

“Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan tried to defeat the AAP in the Delhi polls. Bhushan betrayed my trust, I cannot work with him. I trusted Bhushan, (and) went to jail for 15 days,” he said.

Later, a press release from the party claimed 247 of the 311 members present at the meeting voted for Yadav and Bhushan's ouster, 10 opposed it and 54 did not participate.
There were clear indications from Kejriwal's loyalists that the duo would be stripped of the party's primary membership within the next few days. 

Earlier in the day, amid chaos inside the meeting, Yadav came out saying: “Democracy has been murdered in the National Council meeting.”

He said: “There was bogus voting in the meeting. Many council members who supported us were injured.”

Meanwhile, Bhushan said: “Whatever Kejriwal was heard saying in a sting yesterday (on Friday) was played out in the entirety in today's (Saturday's) meeting. Goons were brought to the meeting. Our supporters were beaten up. The meeting was a total farce.”
On Friday evening, Kejriwal was heard on a tape using expletives against the dissident leaders and even threatening to form a new party.

Ahead of the meeting, Yadav sat on dharna outside the venue for around 20 minutes, alleging that a section of the National Council members opposing the Kejriwal camp were not being allowed inside.

For many AAP members, it was clear right from the beginning that the meeting would be completely hijacked by Kejriwal's men, and even non-members were allowed to take part in it, said Yadav. 

Members opposing the dissenting leaders's ouster from the National Executive were denied an opportunity to express their opinion. The demands of those backing Yadav and Bhushan for holding the meeting under the supervision of Admiral L Ramadas, the party's Lokpal, and for a secret ballot were also rejected.

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