New Delhi: Struck by internal differences, the AAP on Monday appeared to be threatening to crack the whip against senior leaders like Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan at its national executive meeting on Wednesday, accusing them of attempting to “remove” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from the post of party convener.
At a press conference, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh also targeted party patron Shanti Bhushan for his comment in an interview that Kejriwal should be replaced by Yadav. “Someone from within the party, certain senior leaders are trying to remove Arvind Kejriwal from the post of National Convener, by targeting him and maligning the party,” Singh told reporters here.
Without naming Bhushan and Yadav, he referred to statements and letters by senior leaders, which amounted to making the party a butt of ridicule and a “joke of us”.
Expressing displeasure over the leaking of letters to the media, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) member, said the issues could be discussed in the party forum rather than bringing them before the public through the media. He announced that the party’s national executive would meet on Wednesday and decide on all issues including the latest controversy over differences in the party.
Singh parried questions when repeatedly asked whether the two senior leaders would be removed from the Political Affairs Committee (PAC). “I have only announced the date for the meeting. Have I announced the decisions that will be taken there,” he said in reply to questions on whether action will be taken against the leaders.
Singh said that when at its national executive meeting held last week, Kejriwal had tendered his resignation, it was opposed by members who had insisted that he should continue as the AAP national convener. “It was decided at the meet last week that Kejriwal will continue as the party chief and there is no question of removing him from the post. If this is the case, then how will the party work?”
“Will the volunteers like it. Those wanting to remove Kejriwal as party chief should also take the emotions of party workers into consideration,” Singh said.
Crisis in the party intensified after Bhushan, in a letter to the national executive last week, said that the “one person-centric” campaign was making the party look like other parties and called for more “swaraj” within the organisation. Along with Yadav, he also gave a joint letter to the national executive and demanded activation of an ethics and grievance committee. “One person-centric campaign, which was run during Delhi elections, is making our party look more and more like other conventional parties that are also one-person centric. The only difference being that we still claim that we are wedded to the principles of ‘swaraj’ while they don’t,” Bhushan had said in the letter.