Aam Aadmi Party leader Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday co-authored a letter with Yogendra Yadav to all party workers, maintaining they would fight to ensure the political organisation "remains true" to its founding principles.
"In light of the allegations levelled against us publically by some of the senior members of the party, we thought that it was our duty to bring the true facts before the volunteers of the party. Regarding the allegations, we have always maintained that these could be inquired into by the lokpal. This party had been created on certain basic principles: transparency, accountability, swaraj and internal democracy. It was not meant to become like any other political party which compromises on all these principles," Bhushan said.
"Our fight is to make sure that the party remains true to its founding principles because that is the purpose for which lakhs of volunteers in this country have put in so much sweat and blood. That is why we have addressed this letter to the volunteers of the party, so that they get a fair picture of what has happened," he added.
Meanwhile, a group of AAP legislators have written to party convenor Arvind Kejriwal asking him to set an example by taking strict disciplinary action against Bhushan and Yadav for "anti-party activities". The letter, which was leaked to the media on Wednesday, also demanded the removal of party co-founder Shanti Bhushan for speaking against Kejriwal.
Below are excerpts from the letter written by Yadav and Bhushan:
*National convenor's post was never an issue; Prashant Bhushan (PB) and Yogendra Yadav (YY) have never raised it in any formal or informal meeting. When on February 26, the proposal for Arvind's resignation was put forward in the National Executive meeting, we voted against the proposal.
*The real differences came to the fore immediately after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on the issue of forming the government again with support from Congress; opposition by PB and YY led to a division.
*This was further accentuated by an orchestrated move to get the entire PAC to take moral responsibility for Lok Sabha results and submit resignation to AK, so that he could reconstitute it as per his will.
*Other incidents that contributed to differences: Communal posters, forged SMS in the name of AVAM, decision not to contest elections in any state other than Delhi.
*PB and YY demanded that candidate selection in Delhi elections should be transparent, follow the party rules, and that there be a credible mechanism to investigate charges against some candidates. This led first to a committee and then a reference to the AAP Lokpal, whose verdict was accepted by YY & PB.
*Despite his strong reservations, PB agreed to defer his other questions till after the Delhi elections.
*In the first NE meeting after the Delhi elections, PB and YY made some constructive suggestions: ethics committee, autonomy for states, internal democracy and mechanism for listening to volunteers. Instead of a clear response to these, we received baseless allegations.
*The allegations in the AAP press release are frivolous and unbelievable. Yet some of the basic facts are clarified here again.
*PB was not against party's victory; he was opposed to 'winning at any cost' strategy. We feared that hung assembly or a thin majority could expose us to horse-trading, including by some of our 'suspect' candidates.
*PB had talked about going public IF the party did not agree to a credible mechanism to inquire into allegations against candidates; once the Lokpal review was agreed, he abided by the verdict.
*The allegations about YY planting a story in August has already been refuted by other journalists in that meeting.
*PB dealt with AVAM in his capacity as Chair of Disciplinary Committee, yet allegations of collusion were leveled. YY was attacked by AVAM, and he defended the party when AVAM attacked the party.
*In any case we are open to, and are requesting for, an inquiry by the party's Lokpal into all these allegations.
*We do not wish to carry forward this media slugfest, would like to keep quiet after this letter; appeal to everyone to maintain media silence.
*We wish AK a speedy recovery, and hope that he would find a way that preserves party's unity and its principles.
*We are keen to find a way to resolve this situation and would not allow ego or any posts or positions to come in the way of resolution of the current impasse.