New Delhi(web team): A full-blown war broke out in AAP on Friday with dissidents Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav daring the leadership which appears all set to throw them out at its crucial National Council meeting on Saturday. Sources said Kejriwal's camp was likely to move a resolution at the meeting to remove the two dissident leaders from the party for allegedly conspiring to replace Kejriwal from AAP convenor's post. There are speculations that Kejriwal will chair the meeting and both Yadav and Bhushan are unlikely to contest the move.
The proceedings of the meeting will reportedly be videographed.
12:10 IST Saturday, 28 March 2015
Yadav, Bhushan shown the door by AAP's National Council New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) AAP founder members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, who had challenged Arvind Kejriwal's leadership, were today removed from the party's powerful National Executive by an overwhelming majority at the National Council meet, a move slammed as "murder of democracy" by the duo. Amid high drama, a resolution to remove the two dissident leaders was passed by around 230 of around 300 National Council members present in the meeting.
After making an emotional speech, party Chief Arvind Kejriwal left the venue before the resolution to remove the two leaders was introduced by Manish Sisodia. "It was a murder of democracy. Everything played out in accordance with a predetermined script and the resolution was moved and passed within minutes completely disregarding laid down procedures. It was a total farce," said a visibly agitated Yadav.
Yadav's supporters Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha were also removed from the National Executive at the meeting. Yadav alleged that a number of NC members opposed to the resolution suffered injuries as they were heckled by "bouncers" and "outside goons". Bhushan alleged that there was bogus voting in the meeting and Kejriwal came fully prepared to "kick us out" from the party.
"Whatever Kejriwal was heard saying in a sting yesterday was played out in the entirety in today's meeting. There was no distinction between members and others. There was no discussion, no secret vote, no showing of votes in the meeting," the eminent lawyer said.
11:55 IST Saturday, 28 March 2015
Arvind Kejriwal leaves the meeting venue of National Council meeting.
11:09 IST Saturday, 28 March 2015
Yogendra Yadav has stopped his dharna saying that some National Council members were allowed in for the meeting. He said that he will lodged a protest once he gets inside and would try to get the rest of the members in. "Some of the AAP National Council members denied entry to the meeting no allowed. I'm going inside and will try for others to be allowed or register my protest."
10:55 IST Saturday, 28 March 2015
National Council meeting begins. Yogendra Yadav sat on a dharna with National Council members who were denied entry to the meeting. AAP leader Anand Kumar joins him in the protest.
10:18 IST Saturday, 28 March 2015
Yogendra Yadav on Saturday claimed that some party members, some part of the Lokpal as well as a few National Council members were denied entry to today's meeting. " Legitimate members of Aam Aadmi Party ware not being allowed to attend the meeting. I will stand outside till the last member allowed in," he said to a news channel. He claimed that the Lokpal was denied entry to the meeting.
Meanwhile, Arvind Kejriwal arrived for the meeting.
09:48 IST Saturday, 28 March 2015
AAP members have arrived at the venue for the meeting. Kejriwal and Kumar Vishwas have left for the meeting. Some members protested by carrying placards saying 'We won't tolerate traitors' and 'Our national Convener-Arvind Kejriwal'.
Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan on Saturday arrived at the venue amid protests by Kejriwal supporters.
"It's an important day, the fate of the social movement out of which AAP was born, will be decided. It's a day which will decide the future of one of the most extraordinary movements this country has witnessed," said Yadav. "We have received messages and suggestions of thousands of volunteers, I'm sure their advice and well wishes shall not go waste," he added.
He also claimed that the party has asked Admiral L Ramdas (AAP Lokpal) not to attend today’s meeting as it will lead to confrontations. "I just received a letter from Admiral L Ramdas informing me he has been asked to not attend today's meeting."
Sting against Arvind Kejriwal
As the warring factions engaged in a no-holds-barred attack on each other levelling variety of allegations, a new audio tape surfaced in which Kejriwal purportedly using expletives against Bhushan and Yadav during a conversation with a volunteer.
He was also heard threatening to float a new party in the tape which was described by AAP as another conspiracy to malign Kejriwal. People close to Bhushan and Yadav said both the leaders were shocked to hear the tape and realised that there was no point in continuing with the talks as Kejriwal had already decided to dump them from the party.
Asked about Kejriwal camp's efforts to remove them from the party, Bhushan and Yadav said it will not be easy to throw them from the party.
"They can remove us from the National Executive but not from the party. If we have to be removed from the party, the matter has to be referred to the Lokpal or the discplinary committee," Bhushan said.
Yadav said he and Bhushan had sent a note to the party leadership on March 17 mentioning that they were ready to step down from all posts if their five demands are met. "We had sent a note to the party placing our demands which is now being shown as our resignation letter. Whereas it was a conditional letter to resign. We had said if our five demands are met, we will resign from all party posts," Yadav said. The two leaders said they were repeatedly being pressured to resign during the reconciliation talks and clarified that they never raised the issue of the post of party convenorship during the talks.
"Why is it that if we raise any question, our intent is questioned?" Yadav asked, adding their fight is not for personal gains but to restore AAP's founding principles.
Yadav also alleged that the party Constitution has been removed from AAP's official website.
Bhushan slammed Kejriwal for allegedly trying to poach Congress MLAs to form government in Delhi last year. "The National Executive had rejected a proposal to form government taking support of Congress. Despite that, Kejriwal sent a letter to Lt Governor asking him not to dissolve the assembly," he said.
He identified two "fatal shortcomings" of Kejriwal that he said will potentially damage the party in the long run.
"He wants his decisions to be final. He cannot work with people who have differing voices and stand up to him. He thinks his intentions are right but means should be clean as well. That is not enough, means matter a lot," Bhushan said.
He quoted Kejriwal as saying that he cannot be part of any institution where his writ does not run. The duo said there was no internal democracy in the AAP and continuous efforts are being made to defame them ahead of the meeting of National Council.
Yadav said there must be an internal probe by the party Lokpal into seizure of liquor allegedly from a godown of a party candidate ahead of the Delhi elections and receiving of Rs 2 crore as donations. They also released a letter written to party national secretary Pankaj Gupta listing issues to be discussed at tomorrow's National Council meeting. Bhushan also demanded that all the party meetings should be videographed to ensure transparency.
With agency inputs