Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Mayank Gandhi on Thursday panned the outfit’s decision to oust senior members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from a key decision-making panel, indicating a widening of the fault lines within the organisation.
Gandhi said in his blog he was surprised when the AAP’s national executive (NE) decided to remove Yadav and Bhushan from the party’s political affairs committee (PAC) on Wednesday, especially because the two leaders were willing to quit the panel.
The AAP national executive member based in Maharashtra said he was disclosing these details despite a gagging order by the party.
“Last night I was told that disciplinary action would be taken against me, if I revealed anything,” he wrote. “This is not a revolt, nor is this some publicity ploy. I will not go to the press. There may be some repercussions overt and covert against me. So be it – my first allegiance is to the higher truth.”
The party that swept last month’s Delhi election has been torn between two camps, one supporting Kejriwal and the other comprising veterans like Yadav and Bhushan who have accused the chief minister of running things in a dictatorial way.
Gandhi also wrote that Arvind Kejriwal conveyed on February 26 he would quit as party chief if Yadav and Bhushan remained in the PAC.
“At the national executive meeting, Yogendra said that he understood that Arvind did not want them in PAC, as it was difficult to him to work together. He and Prashant would be happy to stay out of PAC, but they should not be singled out,” Gandhi wrote.
According to Gandhi, Yadav suggested that a new PAC could be constituted where members could be elected by voting and Bhushan and Yadav would not contest. The other way was to let the PAC continue to function as it was and the two leaders would not attend any of the meetings.
“The (NE) meeting broke for some time and Manish and others conferred with the Delhi team of Ashish Khetan, Asutosh, Dilip Pandey and others. After reassembling, Manish proposed a resolution that YY and PB be removed from the PAC and it was seconded by Sanjay Singh,” Gandhi said in the post.
He also revealed how Prashant Bhushan threatened on multiple occasions to hold a press conference against the party during the Delhi election campaign, as he was unhappy about some of the candidates the party picked.
Gandhi said he abstained during voting because the intention behind the resolution was not acceptable to him. Eleven AAP members voted in favour of Yadav and Bhushan’s ouster while eight voted against the motion.