New Delhi: The crisis in Delhi’s ruling AAP worsened on Tuesday as four leaders known to be close to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday accused colleagues Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan of attempting to defeat the party in the February election.
The allegation by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, minister Gopai Rai and Aam Aadmi Party leaders Pankaj Gupta and Sanjay Singh prompted Yadav to say he hoped the charge would lead to an “open, transparent dialogue” so that the truth prevails.
In a joint statement, the four leaders clarified that the AAP National Executive decided on March 4 to “release” Bhushan and Yadav from the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) — the party’s highest decision making body — and assign them new responsibilities.
“While all workers were struggling to ensure the party’s victory, the trio – Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav and Shanti Bhushan – were making all-out efforts for the party’s defeat (in Delhi),” the statement said.
“The PAC did not publicise the reasons behind the move as it could affect the senior duo’s reputation,” it said, in reference to Prashant Bhushan, an AAP founder member and a senior Supreme Court advocate, and Yadav, who is widely seen as a leading political expert. Shanti Bhushan is Prashant Bhushan’s father and also a leading advocate.
“But the manner in which an atmosphere has been created that the National Executive was undemocratic and irresponsible, and the questions raised in the minds of the AAP activists, we are compelled to give this explanation,” the statement added.
The statement comes after Maharashtra AAP leader Mayank Gandhi, in his blog, questioned the wisdom of sacking Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the PAC when they were ready to leave with an honourable exit route.
Gandhi later said he was being targeted over his remarks.
Welcoming the statement of the four AAP leaders, Yadav said he hoped that it would “end all slander”.
“I welcome the statement by four colleagues. Begins the possibility of open, transparent dialogue. Truth shall prevail,” Yadav tweeted.
“Hope this statement ends all slander, planting of allegations. Hope no more coercion of party functionaries and Delhi MLAs on this issue,” he added.
Yadav added that he hoped that his and Prashant Bhushan’s responses would also be duly publicised by the party media.
“Hope the party’s web site will be opened for all volunteer responses,” he said in another tweet.
The AAP secured a sweeping win exactly a month ago, winning 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly. The BJP was left with just three seats.