National

Bhushan, Yadav ousted from AAP council, Kejriwal gains full control

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 28, 2015

Aam Aadmi Party leaders, Yogendra Yadav (right) and Prashant Bhushan, at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. The two leaders were removed from the party's National Executive on Saturday.

Duo says decision ‘undemocratic’, weighing options to challenge it

Arvind Kejriwal gained full control of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after the two dissenting founding members -- Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav -- along with Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha were removed from the party’s National Council (NC) by ‘majority’ vote, a decision contested by the ousted leaders.

“All the decisions are illegal and undemocratic we will challenge these. We will meet, think and decide on our next course. We can approach the court, the Election Commission or hold another NC meeting…all options are open,” Bhushan said at a press conference here to “tell their part of the ‘story’. He was flanked by Yadav, MP from Punjab Dharamvira Gandhi, and MLA from Delhi, Pankaj Pushkar, among others.

The high drama unfolded in a Kapashera resort on the outskirts of Delhi, where the National Executive meeting was held and addressed by the party’s national convenor Kejriwal, following which a resolution said to be signed by 247 NE members voted in favour of removal of these leaders, with eight votes against it. About 54 members did not take part in the voting, AAP secretary Pankaj Gupta said.

A bitter Yadav alleged that the meeting was “orchestrated and stage-managed” and denounced the use of ‘bouncers’ to stifle dissent, while Bhushan said the “dictatorial tendencies” displayed by Kejriwal in the meeting took an ugly turn as “he was willing to use this to ruthlessly stifle dissent.”

“It was a murder of democracy. Everything played out in accordance with a pre-determined script and the resolution was moved and passed within minutes, completely disregarding laid down procedures. It was a total farce,” said Yadav, adding that non-members were invited for the meeting, while some members were prevented from attending it.

Earlier in the day, AAP’s internal Lokpal, Admiral Ramdas, posted a letter in which he said he was asked not to attend the meeting “to avoid any confrontation.”

Stating his position clearly after remaining silent so far, Kejriwal made and an hour-long “dramatic” and “emotional” speech, asking NC members to choose between him or these two. “Otherwise, I will quit,” he said, as quoted by Yadav. He, however, left the meeting before the resolution was introduced by his loyalist Manish Sisodia.

Bhushan alleged that Kejriwal came fully prepared to “kick us out” from the party and that a number of NC members, such as Ramzan Choudhry and Sanjiv Walia from Haryana were injured.

However, Kejriwal backer Ashutosh accused Yadav of “spreading lies” saying there was there was no scuffle or manhandling. “It’s a cooked up story to gain sympathy,” he tweeted.



Published on March 28, 2015
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