NEW DELHI: Yogendra Yadav, one of the founder members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), could soon be laid off by the party in a shake-up reportedly spurred by his rift with chief Arvind Kejriwal.
Sources say a group of 17 AAP leaders have authorized Mr Kejriwal to rejig the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) – the party’s top decision making panel in which Yogendra Yadav is a member.
The changes were discussed in a meeting on Friday to which Mr Yadav and another senior leader, Prashant Bhushan, were reportedly not invited.
Iliyas Azmi, a senior member of the PAC told media that a rejig of the committee will happen in March.
“All this is speculation. We are above all this…we have a greater purpose to serve,” Mr Yadav told media when asked about the reported decision to shunt him out.
Sharp differences between Mr Kejriwal and Mr Yadav have been noticeable for months despite AAP’s efforts to bury them.
Mr Kejriwal, who took charge as Delhi’s chief minister on February 14, reportedly skipped a meeting on Thursday of the party national executive near Delhi and texted to a leader that he wanted to quit as PAC convenor and focus only on governing Delhi. Several leaders then went to the AAP chief’s home and a plan to ease Yogendra Yadav out of decision-making was discussed till late night, say sources.
Mr Yadav, a noted psephologist, was publicly snubbed recently after he told a newspaper about AAP’s plan to expand in four states following its electoral success in Delhi. “Some leaders are saying we will expand, I say all this news is false, we will only work in Delhi,” Mr Kejriwal said in a speech after his oath ceremony.
The three-year-old party’s fault-lines were exposed right after its disastrous debut in the national election in May, when leaders like Yogendra Yadav, Shanti Bhushan and Shazia Ilmi charged Arvind Kejrwal with a dictatorial style of functioning.
In June, Mr Yadav offered to resign from the Political Affairs Committee and said in an email, “Arvind is turning into a personality cult that can damage an organisation and the leader himself.”