AAP removes Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan from PAC
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New Delhi: Ending almost a week of speculation, the national executive of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday removed Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the political affairs committee (PAC) of the party.
“The AAP national executive has decided that Yogendra Yadav and I will no longer remain members of the PAC,” Bhushan said after the meeting.
The five-hour meeting was called after letters by leaders such as retired admiral L. Ramdas and Bhushan said the party had faltered on counts of transparency and accountability.
Yadav and Bhushan had also allegedly raised the issue of removing Kejriwal as national convener of the party. This had not gone down well with the chief minister’s supporters.
“The national executive has decided to relieve Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from their role in the PAC. New responsibilities will be given to them,” AAP leader Kumar Vishwas said at a media briefing.
“Everyone in the party is with the party and will continue to work together for the party. There is no ideological difference in the party. No personal difference will split the party,” he added.
Supporters of Kejriwal voted out Yadav and Bhushan by 11 to eight votes, PTI reported.
Signalling that he would continue to work for the party, Yadav said, “Hard work of thousands of its workers has made AAP. It is hope for millions of people of this country today. That hope should not be broken. As a disciplined worker, I shall continue to fulfil the responsibilities given to me.”
The national executive also declined to accept Kejiwal’s resignation as national convener of the party. Kejriwal had said he was preoccupied with work in the Delhi government and would not be able to handle both responsibilities. “The executive also received Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation letter from the post of national convener,” Vishwas said. “The national executive dismissed the resignation.”
Responding to the controversy facing the party, Kejriwal on 2 March said on Twitter, “I am deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party. This is betrayal of trust that Delhi reposed in us. I refuse to be drawn in this ugly battle. Will concentrate only on Delhi’s governance. Will not let people’s faith in us break under any circumstances.”
The AAP in February swept the Delhi state assembly election by winning 67 out of 70 seats.
AAP leader Shanti Bhushan has said there was lack of internal democracy in the party. Several prominent members have left the party with similar complaints, including legislator Vinod Kumar Binny, national executive member Ashok Agrawal, and former national executive member and now member of the Bharatiya Janata Party Shazia Ilmi.
A political analyst said the decision to remove both Bhushan and Yadav from the political affairs committee will affect them more than the party.
“I don’t see AAP (as being) any different from the other political parties. It is increasingly becoming a personality-centric party,” said Delhi-based analyst Bidyut Chakrabarty.
PTI contributed to this story.