Sunday, March 29, 2015
Team Kejri boots out Yadav, BhushanAAP leaders Yogendra Yadav (L) and Prashant Bhushan at a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday. Mukesh Aggarwal

Team Kejri boots out Yadav, Bhushan

4 rebels removed from AAP executive | Dissidents call action unconstitutional | Patkar quits29 Mar 2015 | 1:18 AM

NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, along with two other senior leaders and the duo’s supporters Prof Anand Kumar and Prof Ajit Jha, were today expelled from the party’s powerful national executive (NE) for challenging party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s supremacy.

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Ananya Panda

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 28

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, along with two other senior leaders and the duo’s supporters Prof Anand Kumar and Prof Ajit Jha, were today expelled from the party’s powerful national executive (NE) for challenging party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s supremacy.
Stating that AAP has reduced itself to a "tamasha", veteran social activist Medha Patkar today resigned from the party.
The resolution for their removal — said to have been signed by 167 members of the national council (NC) and read by AAP leader and Kejriwal confidant Manish Sisodia -- was passed by an overwhelming majority at the crucial NC meeting. The dissidents condemned it of being “orchestrated and a murder of democracy”.
Dissenting members alleged that their voices were muzzled, adding that there allegedly was “bogus” voting on the “decree” of Kejriwal. Kejriwal is said to have announced in the council meeting that either “me or they two will remain and I quit”.
The camp that stood at loggerheads with Kejriwal also pointed out that one NC member Ramzan Choudhary was allegedly “assaulted” by marshals and dragged out from the meeting room for his opposition while another, Yamuna Nagar in-charge Sanjeev Walia, was heckled. The charges were dismissed by the Kejriwal camp. Among the prominent persons who boycotted the meeting, besides the four former National Executive members, were Patiala AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi, Haryana spokesperson Rajiv Godara and AAP Timarpur MLA Pankaj Pushkar.
Of the 392 members of the NC, 311 were present. The decision was taken by voice vote in which 247 members raised their hands in favour while 10 dissented, including two through written ballot. As many as 54 members abstained, said AAP general secretary Pankaj Gupta.
Leaving the venue midway, the four ousted leaders -- accompanied by Gandhi -- addressed the media. They condemned the decision saying it was “undemocratic and unconstitutional”.
“I'm pained to say that democracy has been murdered today. When Arvind started his speech, people began shouting ‘gaddar ki bahar karo' slogans. Those who supported us weren't allowed to vote. Bogus voting happened. It was all scripted. "For an hour, Arvind, who spoke after one year, spoke not about the party, but targeted two individuals. Bouncers dragged our supporter, beat him up and when I -- supported by MLA Devinder Sehrawat -- asked Arvind to intervene, he stood like a statue and ended his speech in a dramatic manner,” said Yadav.
When MLA Col Devinder Sehrawat rose to object to the manhandling, he was forced to sit down by Kumar Vishwas. “The resolution was moved and passed within minutes, completely disregarding basic protocol,” said Yadav. 
Calling the meeting “farce”, Bhushan lashed out at Kejriwal saying that they weren't allowed to speak.
Bhushan said, “Arvind was heard on tape that we should be kicked out. He did exactly that. AAP told the party Lokpal not to come to national council meet to avoid any confrontation.  "Kejriwal has made AAP like any other party. It’s 'gundagadri'. Today, it became evident how Arvind is willing to use his dictatorial tendencies to ruthlessly stifle dissent.”
When Bhushan was asked the way forward, he said, “The meeting was unconstitutional and all decisions were illegal.”
He said the group would chalk out the next course of action -- it could approach the court through the Election Commission or call a fresh/ parallel meet of the national council. “All options are open,” he underlined. The group held a meeting at Bhushan’s residence in Jangpura with volunteers and leaders.
Prof Gandhi said the meeting was conducted in most undemocratic manner with all dissent being curbed. “No discussion and voting happened. They did not follow the minimum standards of intra-party democracy. All requests of following the basic principles and allowing them to speak and discuss were rejected,” he said.
 On their future plans, Yadav said, “Give us time to recover. We are shocked. We will meet and decide. Despite all efforts, AAP could extract only 167 signatures out of 400 national council members. Our belief that we would reform this party has suffered a serious setback.”

Won’t quit as Lokpal: Ramdas
AAP's internal Lokpal, Admiral L Ramdas (retd), said he will not quit the post even though he was asked not to attend the national council meeting. "I am neither quitting nor have I been asked to go. Winners never quit," he said. PTI

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