Arvind Kejriwal wanted to form govt with Congress post LS polls, claims Yogendra Yadav
The slugfest within Aam Aadmi Party took an ugly turn on Wednesday when senior party leaders - Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan – wrote a letter to AAP volunteers "to tell them everything they should know".
New Delhi: The slugfest within Aam Aadmi Party took an ugly turn on Wednesday when senior party leaders - Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan – wrote a letter to AAP volunteers "to tell them everything they should know".
In the letter, Bhushan, an AAP founder member and a senior Supreme Court advocate, and Yadav, widely seen as a leading political expert, alleged that AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had proposed to take Congress' support after the party lost Lok Sabha polls.
"Kejriwal was adamant on formation of government. We opposed this and insisted that it would send a very wrong signal among the volunteers across the country, as Congress had recently been rejected by Delhi voters completely. However, Kejriwal went ahead with his efforts on formation of government and he continued till a month prior to elections," reads the letter.
The leaders also rejected the allegation that they were releasing some very confidential communications, saying if they wanted they could have made public some secret papers which would have really harmed the party.
"It was also very strange that after the Lok Sabha elections, Sisodia, Sanjay (Singh) and Ashutosh demanded that all members of PAC should put in their papers so that Kejriwal could restructure new PAC. Even demands were made to disband national executive also. So it was pertinent to oppose those unconstitutional moves," the letter says.
The leaders wished also speedy recovery for Kejriwal who is undergoing diabetes treatment in Bengaluru.
"We hope that Arvind Kejriwal would come back in Delhi soon and sort out the things in a way that party's unity and soul be working together... We would continue to work for the betterment of the party," the letter added.
In the letter, the duo also rejected allegations that they wanted to remove Kejriwal from the post of National Convenor saying they had opposed any such move instead.
"In the NE meeting held on February 26, when we came to know that Arvind Kejriwal has offered his resignation from the post of national convener, we both vehemently opposed that," they said.
The letter also raised questions on the party's expansion plans saying Kejriwal had taken an "unilateral" decision not to contest assembly elections in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana.
"Though, the decision of not contesting the elections in those states proved to be right, however, question still persists over what would be the right approach to take such decisions in future," it said.
Yadav and Bhushan also slammed the party's decision to give ticket to Amanatullah, who was accused by police of mongering communal tension and whose arrest Kejriwal had subsequently demanded.
Bhushan and Yadav also rebuffed allegations of having developed a soft corner for AVAM Chief Karan Singh.
The letter said the party never wanted to have a detailed probe into Singh's purported SMS asking party volunteers to join BJP and instead accused them of being "biased" towards him.
"You tell me, if a volunteer approaches us for a fair trial, isn't it our duty to hear his voice in an unbiased manner?" asks the statement.
The duo also raised questions over the party's candidate selection and distribution of poll tickets.
"Was it not our duty to raise an alarm about the candidates having dubious background who were given tickets by setting aside all the principles and fundamentals of the party? Rather, party should have honoured our views, but we were accused of involving anti-party activities," the statement noted.
"After we pushed this, a committee was formed to investigate into our concerns. The internal Lokpal scrutinised background of 12 candidates. Two candidatures were canceled, four were found innocent while six were allowed to file the nomination papers with riders," reads the letter.
The letter also rubbished charges that Yadav planted the stories in media which harmed the party.
"Other journalists present in the meeting have written their articles and have straightforwardly denied to have been being briefed by Yogendra. If they were briefed, then why other journalists did not write their pieces," the statement questioned.
The duo also put out a disclaimer saying that the views expressed in the letter did not include Shanti Bhushan's as "for we have publicly expressed our differences with his views."
Talking to reporters, Yadav mentioned that he and Bhushan have decided not to make any more statements in the media.
We have requested AAP that it should make the letter public as they did for yesterday's statement, added Yadav.
"We have also asked the party Lokpal to investigate the allegations made against Prashant Bhushan and me," added Yadav.
Earlier in the day, senior AAP leader from Maharashtra, Anjali Damania, quit the party.
Referring to party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, she said: "I believed him.. I backed Arvind for principles not horse-trading."
On Tuesday, the AAP crisis worsened 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 February 07 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 leaders Pankaj Gupta and Sanjay Singh.
It had prompted Yadav to say that he hoped the charge would lead to an "open, transparent dialogue" for the truth to prevail.
Prashant Bhushan had 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.
Shanti Bhushan is Prashant Bhushan's father and also a leading advocate.
(With Agency inputs)