New Delhi, March 27
In further escalation of infighting, AAP dissident leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav on Friday mounted a no-holds-barred attack on party chief Arvind Kejriwal, accusing him of stifling internal democracy and adopting unfair means to capture power.
Addressing a press conference, the two leaders alleged that any issue raised by them was being projected as questioning Kejriwal's leadership and attempts to remove him from the post of AAP's national convenor.
Bhushan even claimed that Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal had suggested that he will form a regional party with all party MLAs saying "he cannot work with us".
The attack on Kejriwal by the two founding members of the party came a day before the crucial meeting of AAP's national council, which is likely to deliberate on the fate of Bhushan and Yadav and other major issues.
The two leaders said they will quit all "executive posts" if the five demands they had placed before the leadership which include bringing the party under the ambit of the RTI Act, ordering probe by AAP's internal Lokpal into allegations of wrong doing and giving state units more autonomy, are met.
"We had sent a note to the party placing our demands which is now being shown as our resignation letter. Whereas it was a conditional letter to resign. We had said if our five demands are met, we will resign from all party posts," Yadav said.
The two leaders said they were repeatedly being pressurised to resign during the reconciliation talks and clarified that they never raised the issue of the post of party convenorship during the talks.
"Why is it that if we raise any question, our intent is questioned?" Yadav asked, adding their fight is not for personal gains but to restore AAP's founding principles.
Yadav also alleged that the party constitution has been removed from AAP's official website.
Bhushan slammed Kejriwal for allegedly trying to poach Congress MLAs to form government in Delhi last year.
"The national executive had rejected a proposal to form government taking support of Congress. Despite that, Kejriwal sent a letter to Lt Governor asking him not to dissolve the assembly," Bhushan said.
Bhushan said Kejriwal had suggested that he will form a separate party of 67 MLAs in Delhi rather than work with him and Yadav.
"Arvind was saying time and again that I cannot work with them. I will form a separate party of 67 MLAs in Delhi. Why this idea of removing us came to his mind," Bhushan said.
He identified two "fatal shortcomings" of Kejriwal that he said will potentially damage the party in the long run.
"He wants his decisions to be final. He cannot work with people who have differing voices and stand up to him. He thinks his intentions are right but means should be clean as well. That is not enough, means matter a lot," Bhushan said while citing Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi's government and the Gujarat riots when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of the state.
"They also thought their intentions were right," he said.
Bhushan quoted Kejriwal as saying that he cannot be part of any institution where his writ does not run.
The duo said there was no internal democracy in the AAP and continuous efforts are being made to defame them ahead of the meeting of National Council.
Yadav said there must be an internal probe by the party Lokpal into seizure of liquor allegedly from a godown of a party candidate ahead of the Delhi elections and receiving of Rs 2 crore as donations.
They also released a letter written to party national secretary Pankaj Gupta listing issues to be discussed at tomorrow's National Council meeting.
Bhushan also demanded that all the party meetings should be video-graphed to ensure transparency.
"They said they would not allow mobile phones inside the national council meeting whereas other parties allow journalists in such meetings," Bhushan said.
Yadav said he was offered the post of Haryana in-charge which he never asked for.
"They were saying they will offer me 'Navin-mukt' Haryana whereas I never asked for any such post," he said, while adding Kejriwal camp was referring to his detractor Navin Jaihind.
Possibility of truce with duo remote: Ashutosh
Meanwhile, earlier today Ashutosh had said the possibility of a truce with dissident leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan was "remote".
"To be honest and frank, the possibility of truce or peace is remote because they (Bhushan and Yadav) are insisting on removal of Kejriwal (as national convener) which is not possible," Ashutosh told a news channel.
"If you are part of a party, you have to accept its leader," he added.
Less than two months after it stormed to power in Delhi, the AAP on Thursday that Bhushan and Yadav had quit as its national executive. The duo fervently denied it.
AAP spokesman Ashish Khetan said the two leaders were dead set against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the party's best known face, who assumed office on February 14.