More than 16 months after they were ousted from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Yogendra Yadav, and Prashant Bhushan announced the formation of a political party on Sunday.
The leaders, along with some other former AAP leaders, have been raising socio-political issues under the banner of Swaraj Abhiyan ever since. However, they will announce the party name, symbol, and office-bearers by October 2.
They decided to form a party after getting the approval of 93% of the executive delegates from 114 districts of the country. They are yet to decide on contesting the elections.
“Elected delegates decided on the issue over the weekend. We will register the party with the election commission by October 2,” said Yogendra Yadav, Swaraj Abhiyan leader.
Yadav, however, clarified that Swaraj Abhiyan would continue to exist even after the new political party was launched. The two will function independently.
The group leaders said a six-member committee had been formed to complete the formalities. Meanwhile, the leaders didn’t disclose where the party would contest from.
“Being a political party, we will contest elections. However, we don’t want to contest merely to mark our presence. The decision, as to where we fight elections, will be taken collectively,” said Yadav.
Yadav, however, didn’t rule out contesting the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab and municipal elections in Delhi. “Our teams are really excited about contesting the municipal elections in Delhi. But we are yet to take a final call,” said Yadav.
Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Ajit Jha, and Anand Kumar were ousted from AAP in March 2015 for “anti-party activities”. The rebels had then formed a political group called ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’, and started various movements across the country.
Swaraj leaders also took a jibe at AAP, saying though it didn’t pursue its campaign of fighting corruption, Swaraj Abhiyan had constituted three independent Lokpals to ensure transparency.
“We want to offer people an alternative politics without making the mistakes our former colleagues made,” said Bhushan.
Swaraj Abhiyan president Anand Kumar said they would not form an alliance with any political party, but would urge Jan Andolan groups to join them.
Kumar said they had launched a youth wing of the Swaraj Abhiyan to reach out to the youth. They would target over 100 universities across the country.