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Ashutosh calls AAP rebels' meet a 'flop'; Yadav takes pride in 'rebel' tag

Following the meeting of AAP's rebel group on Tuesday, HT spoke to rebel leader Yogendra Yadav and AAP's senior leader Ashutosh for their reactions.

delhi Updated: Apr 15, 2015 14:56 IST
Darpan Singh & Mohit Sharma
AAP,AAP rebel meeting,Swaraj Samwad

The Arvind Kejriwal-faction of Aam Aadmi Party, AAP, is likely to decide the action to be taken against dissidents, including Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, for holding a rebel meet and criticising Arvind Kejriwal's "cult politics".

The duo on Tuesday mobilised hundreds of people and held an open dialogue called Swaraj Samwad. Though the two stopped short of forming a new political outfit, they lashed out against Arvind Kejriwal's "cult politics" and vowed to continue their "struggle for swaraj” without leaving the organisation.

This was the first meeting since Yadav and Bhushan were expelled from the party’s Political Affairs Committee and National Executive last month.

Reacting to the meeting, senior AAP leader Ashutosh told HT on Tuesday that the two rebels have not been able to reconcile with the fact that they are out of AAP’s key panels and the party may decide its of action on Wednesdy.

"Frankly, the party took this Swaraj Samwad quite seriously. We constantly monitored the proceedings. They want to create circumstances that would lead to a split in the party. They spoke openly against Arvind [Kejriwal] and the whole leadership. Obviously it has not gone down well with us. We may sit tomorrow (Wednesday) and take a call on what to do."

Calling the Swaraj Samwad a flop, Ashutosh said the party stands with party convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Ashutosh said, "Looks like it was a flop. AAP was confident from day one. Only a couple of AAP leaders were seen at the much-hyped meeting. If they thought they would be able to create a split in our MLAs, senior leaders, they were wrong. A lot of people seemed to have been brought in from nearby areas. Yadav and Bhushan have not been able to digest the National Council verdict last month where 247 members voted against them as opposed to only 8 in their favour. It was a reflection of the party mood across states. The party today stands firmly with Arvind."

The decision not to walk out of the AAP emerged after an eight-hour-long meeting of supporters from various states, a resolution was passed to set up the new group -- Swaraj Abhiyan-- which will try to establish the concept of "swaraj" and work for strengthening "alternative politics."

Speaking to HT, Yogendra Yadav said they opted to remain within the party to “cleanse it”.

"The meeting has highlighted that we were not the only ones who were dissatisfied with the working of the party. The large turnout signifies that people believe that all hope is not lost. We would organise similar events throughout the country."

When asked what he thought of being called a rebel and anti-social, Yadav said, "I like the word ‘rebel’. It has been used for some of the most distinguished freedom fighters. But it still carries the hint of negativity. I would focus all my energies on building something positive than trying to oppose anyone. I have drawn a line on criticism."

Swaraj Abhiyan not anti-party: AAP rebel Yogendra Yadav

First Published: Apr 15, 2015 13:24 IST