It was Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal’s “emotional appeal” to party leaders which sealed the ouster of Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav and two others from its National Executive, a member of its National Council (NC) said as the crisis within the outfit reached a flashpoint on Saturday.
“It was nothing else but Kejriwal’s emotional appeal to all NC members and his offer to resign from all the four posts of the party which decided the fate of the four leaders,” said an AAP NC member who was speaking on condition of anonymity.
The NC member, who made the comments while taking a break from the meeting, also said that the charge being made by the ousted leaders that a “pre-scripted drama” had been staged to remove them was, “nothing but a bundle of lies”.
“In his 10 minute-speech, Kejriwal played an emotional card and briefed the members, saying it had become impossible for him to work for the party while Yadav and Bhushan remained members of the National Executive,” said the member.
“‘Either you get rid of them (Bhushan, Yadav) or free me from all the four posts of the party,” he quoted Kejriwal as having said at the NC meeting.
“Though Kejriwal showed his displeasure and initially wanted only Bhushan and Yadav to be removed (from the NE), when he (Kejriwal) left and the final proposal was drafted, two additional names of Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha were added,” revealed another member, who said he had voted for the ouster of all four.
A total of 392 NC members were invited for today’s meet but only 311 members turned up. Of those present, 247 voted in favour of the proposal for ouster by raising their hands while 54 members abstained. Also, two raised dissent notes while eight members voted against the proposal.
Interestingly, the first half of the meeting saw no discussion on any of the seven “agendas” which were finalised by a few members of the NC and other office bearers of the different wings of AAP at YMCA on Friday.
Ravi Srivastava, an AAP state executive committee member from Maharashtra and also an NC member who abstained from the voting, said, “People who are saying that voting was not held democratically are not being true. The proceedings were conducted in a dignified manner and there were no goons.”