Aam Admi Party (AAP) rebel leader Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday ruled out any plan to form a separate party, and has appealed to party workers across the country to reach Gurgaon on April 14 for his ‘Swaraj Samwad’ (Congregation for a dialogue) “to save the AAP”.
“Bring volunteers to the ‘samwad’, which is not being held against any individual or for a move to launch another party, but to evolve a dialogue in the interest of the aspirations of lakhs of party volunteers wanting to save the party,” Yadav said at a meeting to mobilise support for the event.
Yadav, who was removed from the AAP’s national executive along with Prashant Bhushan last month, said that they were not against party supremo Arvind Kejriwal but wanted to save the principles that formed the foundation of the party.
He hinted that there was still scope for a truce if the party high command, led by Kejriwal, accepted the pre-conditions that his group had initially raised within the party forum.
“Delhi darbar pure desh par haavi nahi ho sakta (the party high command in Delhi cannot dominate cadre in the country),” he said, adding that one of the main demands of ‘rebel leaders’ like him was to empower the AAP’s state units to take decisions on issues like local panchayats and state elections.
“Prepare yourself for 20 years of struggle, as winning elections only is not a priority in the principles of AAP,” he said.
Yadav recounted that during the Delhi assembly polls, he and Bhushan wanted to review the distribution of tickets for 12 party candidates with shady past records. “One of them, against whom the AAP had lodged an FIR, is an MLA today,” he said.
“This attitude of winning the elections as priority is like fast-food of politics, but the trend does not sustain for long when it comes to meeting the aspirations of the party cadre for clean politics,” he said.
Dr Gandhi’s absence
AAP Patiala MP Dr Dharamveera Gandhi has distanced himself from both the camps — the Kejriwal’s and the Yadav’s. He was again conspicuous by his absence at Yadav’s meeting on Tuesday. Gandhi had also skipped Monday’s meeting presided over by AAP central leader Sanjay Singh.
Interestingly, the other three AAP MPs — Bhagwant Mann, Harinder Singh Khalsa and Professor Sadhu Singh — have reposed faith in Kejriwal’s leadership, while Dr Gandhi has been facing verbal warnings for dissenting against the party high command. He had also reportedly been warned against attending Yadav’s meet on Tuesday.
When contacted, Gandhi said, “I have not received any show-cause notice as yet.” He is now keeping his fingers crossed and remains indecisive on attending the April 14 event.