Former Aam Aadmi Party leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday questioned their expulsion from the party but indicated they may not move court against the decision.
"Ideally we can approach the court against all that they did. The reconstitution of the national disciplinary commmittee, the removal of Admiral Ramdas as the party Lokpal – everything was illegal. The question is why should we spend our energy in court?" Bhushan told a news conference a day after AAP’s disciplinary panel removed him, fellow founder member Yogendra Yadav and two others.
Bhushan and Yadav said the way they were removed went against all laws of justice, and that AAP leaders Pankaj Gupta and Ashish Khetan, who had raised complaints against them, also acted as “judges”.
They said they felt sad at the expulsion but were relieved at the same time that the “drama” is now over.
"It is no longer AAP, it is khap," Bhushan said sarcastically, referring to the arbitrary manner in which the party removed them.
In a direct attack on AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, Bhushan said all decisions in the party were now being "taken by a dictator and his coterie".
Yadav and Bhushan said they would carry forward the Swaraj Abhiyaan they had started with young party supporters, but did not go into specifics.
Late on Monday evening, AAP expelled Bhushan, Yadav and Anand Kumar for anti-party activities and violating the code of ethics, ending a raging rebellion in the two-year-old party that threatened to overshadow its historic poll victory in the capital.
The decision to throw out the trio, along with Ajit Jha, was taken at a marathon meeting attended mostly by leaders close to Delhi chief minister Kejriwal, hours after Yadav and Bhushan replied to show-cause notices and criticised the AAP leadership for attempting to stifle dissent within the party.
“The National Disciplinary Committee carefully considered responses furnished by Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan and Anand Kumar and found them unsatisfactory,” said a statement from the party.
“The Committee reached the unanimous conclusion that they had indulged in gross indiscipline and anti-party activities. They have violated the Code of Conduct detailed in the party’s constitution.”
AAP won a landslide victory in the Delhi polls barely two months ago but has since been embroiled in a bitter internal feud, with a series of leaked letters establishing the presence of two camps — one supporting Kejriwal and another comprising Yadav, Bhushan and others who accuse the chief minister of being dictatorial.
Leaders close to Kejriwal have accused the rebels of working against the party before the elections and conspiring to remove the chief minister as the party convenor.
“We have dealt with the dissidence in the party on our part. We now want to move on and focus on our fight against the land acquisition amendment,” said a senior AAP leader.