New Delhi: Senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan have been removed from the National Council of the Aam Aadmi Party.
A proposal to remove them was moved at the National Council meeting in New Delhi on Saturday and was adopted with majority. Mr. Yadav’s supporters Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha have also been removed from the National Executive.
Miscreants owing allegiance to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal created ruckus outside the meeting venue and allegedly those who raised slogans demanding internal democracy in the party.
A senior party official said the party has decided to videograph the National Council meeting as per the request of Mr. Yadav and Mr. Bhushan.
When Mr. Yadav came to the venue, some AAP volunteers raised slogans against him as he struggles to talk to reporters.
Mr. Yadav said, “I had never thought that such a day would come when the party’s volunteers would want me instead of corruption dead. I pray that God gives good sense to those against me and request our cadres to stay home instead of coming here.”
“Every MLA was given ten buses to get supporters to heckle me; what is happening to the movement is sad,” he added. “Whenever political power, money and the will to change the system collide — the latter always prevails.”
AAP leader and Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba said, “We got votes on the slogan paanch saal for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Whoever is trying to hurt him should be punished.” AAP MP from Sangrur, Punjab, Bhagwant Mann said “This sea of people is a family; whoever is trying to harm it should be done away with.”
“Democracy has been murdered in the National Council meeting,” said Yadav after coming out of the meeting.
The AAP meeting was scripted and supporters of Kejriwal resorted to violence, claimed Yadav.
“Everything happened there in a planned manner. It seems that everything was scripted,” Bhushan said.
Mr. Yadav sat on a dharna at the venue of the National Executive meeting over his volunteers being denied entry for the meeting, and refused to enter the meeting which was already under way. AAP leader and founder member of the party Anand Kumar said, “Many National Council members have been barred from coming, participating in National Executive meet on flimsy grounds.”
Earlier on the day, Mr. Yadav shared a letter on Twitter from Retd. Admiral L. Ramdas, AAP-Lokpal, stating he will not be present in person at the NC meeting because he was told by the party general secretary that “only MLAs and MPs have been invited apart from authorised NC members.”
Retd. Adm. Ramdas went on state that “despite many requests as I as Lokpal be present… I have decided to honour the request by not attending the meeting.”
A report of the AAP Delhi unit questioning Mr. Yadav’s and Mr. Bhushan’s “style of functioning” was also set to be tabled at the meeting.
Heavy contingents of police and RAF have been deployed in the vicinity of the resort where NC members are being allowed inside after registering at a counter. Members who failed to show identification, mobile number, and SMS invite are being denied entry.
However, in the build-up to the meeting, the Prashant Bhushan-Yogendra Yadav camp said that it won’t be easy to remove 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 disciplinary committee.”
Both the groups claimed to have the numbers with them, ahead of the National Council meeting.
The party’s constitution states that action cannot be taken by the party unless the member is given an opportunity to explain his stand.
The National Council, the third most important body of AAP, has over 350 members.