New Delhi : The AAP crisis worsened on Tuesday, with four leaders known to be close to party chief Arvind Kejriwal accusing senior colleagues Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan of having attempted the party’s defeat in the Feb 7 Delhi assembly polls.
The allegation was levelled in a statement by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, minister Gopal Rai and two other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Pankaj Gupta and Sanjay Singh.
It prompted Yadav to say that he hoped the charge would lead to an “open, transparent dialogue” for the truth to prevail.
Prashant Bhushan said: “Time has come for the country to know the whole truth about the matter and the truth will come out soon.”
In a joint statement, the four leaders on Tuesday said the AAP National Executive decided on March 4 to “release” Bhushan and Yadav from the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) — the party’s highest decision-making body — and assign them new responsibilities.
“While all workers were struggling to ensure the party’s victory, the trio – Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav and Shanti Bhushan – were making all-out efforts for the party’s defeat (in Delhi),” the statement said.
“The PAC did not publicise the reasons behind the move as it could affect the senior duo’s reputation,” it said, in reference to Prashant Bhushan, an AAP founder member and a senior Supreme Court advocate, and Yadav, widely seen as a leading political expert.
Shanti Bhushan is Prashant Bhushan’s father and also a leading advocate.
“But the manner in which an atmosphere has been created that the National Executive was undemocratic and irresponsible, and the questions raised in the minds of the AAP activists, we are compelled to give this explanation,” the statement added.
The statement further said that not only did Prashant Bhushan openly support AAP’s breakaway group which maligned the party with the backing of the BJP, he threatened to sabotage the party’s poll preparation by holding press conferences.
The statement came after Maharashtra AAP leader Mayank Gandhi, in his blog, questioned the wisdom of sacking Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the PAC when they were ready to leave with an honourable exit route.
Gandhi later said he was being targeted over his remarks.
Yadav, welcoming the four AAP leaders’ statement, said he hoped that it would “end all slander”.
“I welcome the statement by the four colleagues. Begins the possibility of open, transparent dialogue. Truth shall prevail,” Yadav tweeted.
“Hope this statement ends all slander, planting of allegations. Hope no more coercion of party functionaries and Delhi MLAs on this issue,” he added.
Yadav said he hoped that his and Prashant Bhushan’s responses would also be duly publicised by the party media.
“Hope the party’s website will be opened for all volunteer responses,” he said in another tweet.
Meanwhile, another AAP leader Ashutosh said: “No organisation will survive if it does not observe minimum discipline. Individuals are important but organisation is bigger and the rule is for all.”
AAP secured a sweeping win a month ago, winning 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly. The BJP could win barely three seats.
AAP’s National Council meeting is slated to be held on March 28 where several raging issues are likely to be discussed, a party leader said.