The AAP leader says he and fellow leader Prashant Bhushan were fighting to “save the soul of the struggle” that gave birth to the party
In further escalation of infighting, AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav on Friday mounted an attack on party convenor Arvind Kejriwal, accusing him of stifling internal democracy and adopting unfair means to capture power.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the two leaders alleged that any issue raised by them was being projected as questioning Mr. Kejriwal’s leadership and attempts to remove him from the post of AAP’s national convenor.Mr. Bhushan even claimed that Mr. Kejriwal had suggested that he will form a regional party with all party MLAs saying “he cannot work with us“.
The attack on Mr. Kejriwal by the two founding members of the party came a day before the crucial meeting of the AAP’s national council which is likely to deliberate on the fate of Mr. Bhushan and Mr. Yadav and other major issues.
Mr. Yadav said Mr. Bhushan and he were fighting to “save the soul of the struggle” that gave birth to the party.
Mr. Yadav said: “It (the AAP) is not an ordinary party, it was born out of a revolution to clean the system, end corruption and give power to the common people. People have high hopes from this party.”
“But the developments in the last one month have disappointed many. We are fighting to save the soul of the struggle that gave birth to this party.”The AAP is the only party where questions of transparency and internal democracy are at least being discussed, Mr. Yadav said.
Addressing a press conference with Mr. Bhushan, Mr. Yadav said: “Does the party which professes in swaraj have swaraj in itself… in its own affairs?”
Terming the question of national convenor of the AAP as a non issue, Mr. Yadav asked, “Why is it that when one raises even a single question it is connected directly to Arvind Kejriwal.”
“All we suggested was that internal Lokpal at least examine issues such as alleged horse trading, Delhi Law Minister’s fake degree and independence of local party bodies,” he said.
Posing a series of questions to the AAP top brass, Mr. Yadav said, “Will the AAP end up becoming another regional party? Or will its national ambitions persist?
“Will the AAP practice the transparency that it preaches to other parties or end up like Congress or BJP?”
Alleging that Mr. Yadav and he had been “repeatedly told to resign by those close to Arvind Kejriwal”, Mr. Bhushan said that he had texted Mr. Kejriwal to solve this issue. “It’s been 11 days since, but he didn’t have time for us.”“We were told time and again that ‘Arvind Kejriwal doesn’t want to work’ with us,” he claimed.
While further alleging that Mr. Kejriwal wanted to form a breakaway unit of all 67 AAP MLAs in Delhi, Mr. Bhushan said, “Arvind Kejriwal told me he was the National Convenor, would do as he deemed fit.“Arvind Kejriwal told me he was never part of any organisation where his authority wasn’t supreme.”
Mr. Bhushan, said, “Time and again, I told Arvind Kejriwal that having only a clear conscience wasn’t enough.”
“Told Arvind Kejriwal that the means, and not always just the end, also matter,” he added.
Dismissing reports of Mr. Yadav’s and his resignation from the party as white lies, Mr. Bhushan said that they had never asked Mr. Kejriwal to step down as national convenor.
(Continue to next page)