AAP rift wide open: Bhushan, Yadav weigh support, delay call on walking out of party

  • Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 29, 2015 09:13 IST

The rebel group has not talked about forming a new outfit, but it has so far not ruled out the possibility of such a move as well.

Even as the rift in the party kept widening during the last one month, party leader Yogendra Yadav persistently expressed his optimism “will neither leave the party nor break it”. On Saturday, he admitted this optimism had “definitely suffered a setback”.

After his and Prashant Bhushan’s ouster from AAP’s 21-member National Executive , Yadav was asked if they would float a new party. He said, “We’re shocked. We need to recover from today’s events. We will sit with volunteers and think.”

Bhushan said, “All options — including approaching court (for illegal voting), Election Commission, police (for violence) — were open.” “One of the options could be to keep fighting for the betterment of the party. Another option could be to have a group which could fulfil the aspirations of AAP,” he added.

Ousted party leaders have already started talks on what they could do in the future. “What are the options before us? Organise a national consultation in near future or continue to work for corruption free India as AAP volunteer with low profile till removed as ordinary members,” Anand Kumar tweeted.

Ajit Jha and Anand Kumar, who were also sacked from NE, besides AAP Patiala MP Dharamveer Gandhi and party Timarpur MLA Pankaj Pushkar accompanied the two founding members.

As the crisis within the outfit reached a flashpoint, support for the rebel group seems to be growing. Bijwasan MLA Devendra Sehrawat voted in favour of Yadav and Bhushan. Maharashtra leader Medha Patkar quit and said AAP has become a ‘tamasha’.

Later in the evening, Yadav and Bhushan, at the latter’s residence in Jangpura, met party leaders and volunteers “to talk about the future course of action”.

At the press conference itself, Yadav announced this meeting and gave out the address, where a large crowd later gathered.

“As of now we are only recovering from the shock and gloom over what happened today,” Yadav said while coming out of his meeting with leaders and volunteers.

“Don’t read too much into this meeting. A lot of leaders who had come from other states for today’s (Saturday) meeting had taken appointments with Yadav and Bhushan. Yes, it’s gesture of solidarity,” said a leader who was present at the meeting.

The two, who were ousted from the nine-member Political Affairs Committee (PAC) on March 4, may themselves face further action. Saturday’s action could be a prelude to a sacking from the party itself. The party issued a statement and said that the PAC will take disciplinary action against those making media statements against the party.

And talks of a split have come from the Kejriwal camp as well. According to an audio sting which surfaced on Friday , Kejriwal was heard purportedly threatening to form a new party. AAP leader Sanjay Singh on Saturday said that taking into view the current scenario, a break up within the party cannot be ruled out.

And all this has given ammo to the opposition. The Congress on Saturday said AAP was bound to fail and break. "AAP is bound to fail and split because they were trying to make people believe that they are different but they are not," said Congress leader PC Chacko.


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