Terming as “unconstitutional and illegal” Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) National Council meeting where they were ousted from a key panel, dissidents Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan today did not rule out taking legal recourse against their removal.
Attacking Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his “dictatorial” tendencies and for “ruthlessly stifling” voices of dissent, Bhushan told reporters after the meeting that all options were open to them to challenge the decision.
“It is true that we can move the court, Election Commission or call another meeting of the NC. All options are open,” he said.
Providing “inside details” of the meet, which witnessed turbulent scenes, the two leaders accused Kejriwal of instigating the NC members against the dissident leaders in an “orchestrated performance” and of inaction when certain members were being heckled.
They alleged that Kejriwal during his speech threatened to resign if they were not removed from the national executive.
“He gave a dramatic speech for around one hour and it was full of allegations against us. He threatened to resign if we were not removed. He also accused Shanti Bhushan of anti-party activities without taking his name. Then 10 people including MLAs like Kapil Mishra stood up and started shouting slogans calling us traitors. The drama went on for 5-7 minutes during which he (Kejriwal) stood like a statue,” Yadav said.
Yadav said that the party convenor left soon after the speech, citing “official engagements” after making Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai the chairman of the meet. Within seconds Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia “moved the resolution” to remove them.
“Sisodia said 167 members have moved the resolution and voting on that began without even getting it seconded by any other person. We asked Rai to allow a debate and to make arrangements for secret vote, but he did not react,” he said.
Yadav pointed out the “irony” of a party, “that has born out of the Jan Lokpal movement”, not allowing its internal Lokpal L Ramdas inside the meeting citing possibilities of “confrontation”.
Bhushan, who was particularly aggressive during the press conference, slammed the “hooliganism” saying that he had an “inkling” that the meeting was going to be “stage-managed” going by the “activities” of the last three days.
“Every MLA was directed to bring 50 people to the meeting. They engaged in hooliganism and those who tried to stop were booted out. Is this why we made the party through out blood and sweat? This is a grave hour of crisis for the party,” the senior lawyer said.