Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, who were on a collision course with party Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, were on Wednesday voted out of Political Affairs Committee of the party, which has been rocked by dissidence in recent days.
In a show-down in the party’s 21-member National Executive (NE), supporters of Kejriwal voted out Yadav and Bhushan by 11 to eight votes. Kejriwal and Mayank Gandhi were not present at the meet.
Yadav and Bhushan’s ouster from PAC came days after the duo had raised red flag against continuation of Kejriwal as National Convener as also questioned his working style, evoking a sharp reaction from Kejriwal supporters who accused Bhushan and his father Shanti Bhushan of wanting to have a “vice-like grip” on all party wings, from PAC to policy committee to NE.
The two leaders left the stormy session after the decision of the Executive. While Yadav maintained that he would continue working as dedicated worker of the party, Bhushan left saying that a majority decision will prevail.
The NE also rejected Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation as National Convenor.
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Later announcing the decisions of NE, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas said Yadav and Bhushan will be given new roles.
“The party has decided to relieve them from the responsibility as members of the PAC. They will be assigned new role and responsibility,” Vishwas said.
He said “personal opinions and personal differences” will not come in the way of the unity of the party, which will deliver on its promises and will not betray the trust of the people.
Ahead of the meet, while Yadav had offered an olive branch to the party’s top brass saying the question of Kejriwal staying as National Convener has never been an issue while Bhushan had said that he was “firm on ethics”.
Both leaders have, in the past few days, had alleged that the three-year-old party has strayed from the core ideals of ‘swaraj’ (self-governance) and transparency that set it apart.
Speaking to reporters after his removal, Yadav said, the party was created with “blood and sweat” of thousands of supporters whose trust should not be betrayed.