Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh on Saturday claimed that Yogendra Yadav, who was ousted from the party’s National Executive today, had asked Arvind Kejriwal for a “graceful exit” from the party after he was allegedly caught tarnishing the party’s image by planting stories in the media.
In an “open letter” to Yadav, Ashutosh, who is AAP’s Delhi unit convener, also said that Kejriwal “forgave” him in an act of magnanimity and no action was initiated.
“Various stories started appearing in the newspapers which were tarnishing the image of the party and also that of Arvind. Initially, these were ignored. But, later, a few suspected your (Yadav’s) hand in this. You were confronted, but you denied it every time.
“Finally, it was decided to catch the lie, and the phone conversation was recorded with a reporter who confessed to your role. You were confronted with proof and you had no answer. In fact, you were ready for disciplinary action, and begged Arvind for a graceful exit,” Ashutosh wrote.
Highlighting five points in his letter, Ashutosh claimed that Yadav had ambitions of becoming the chief minister of Haryana and was pressuring Kejriwal for making him in-charge of the state.
“This was the time when you were very close to Arvind. He had total trust in you. You were his eyes and ears, and also the biggest trouble-shooter. This was also the time when everybody thought that after Delhi, Haryana would be the next breakthrough state for AAP.
“You belonged to Haryana and had never hidden your political interest for long-term politics in the state and may have fancied yourself as the chief minister of the state at some time in the future,” Ashutosh said.
He claimed that the Delhi Chief Minister was “overruled” by Yadav and Prashant Bhushan over his decision not to contest all the seats in the Lok Sabha polls, in which the party faced a debacle.
“Is it not a fact that you (Yadav) were desperate to contest the Assembly elections in Haryana and, when Arvind differed with you, you became bitter?
“Arvind pleaded with you to fight only a select few seats, but he was overruled… I was expecting that one of you would have come out and taken the blame but alas, that was not to be,” Ashutosh said in his open letter.
The journalist-turned-politician further alleged that Yadav had insisted on a review of the party’s Lok Sabha poll performance when Kejriwal was in jail for a few days last year in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.
“This was the time I felt it was not a simple review which you were demanding — it was much more than that. Only history will judge what it was,” Ashutosh said.
Stressing that “history” will be on their side, Ashutosh said that the “real facts” and “real reason” behind the “engineered” internal revolt against Kejriwal would come out with the “the faces behind it”.