AAP rift widens ahead of crucial meet: As it happened

The reconciliation talks between warring Aam Aadmi Party​ (AAP) factions have failed and it appears to be a matter of time before senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan are sacked from the party. Here are the latest developments:

By Deepak Nagpal | Last Updated: Mar 28, 2015, 00:35 AM IST
AAP rift widens ahead of crucial meet: As it happened

New Delhi: The reconciliation talks between warring Aam Aadmi Party​ (AAP) factions have failed and it appears to be a matter of time before senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan are sacked from the party. Here are the latest developments:

  • This is part of AAP's tradition, use of such language, not having confidence in colleagues: Satish Upadhyay, Delhi BJP chief.
  • Shows what kind of people they are, their true colour has been exposed: PC Chacko, Congress audio sting of A Kejriwal.
  • The secretly-taped phone conversation reveals Kejriwal threatening to exit AAP with 67 party MLAs.
  • An alleged audio sting of Kejriwal shows AAP chief abusing party colleagues.
  • All we know is that all MLAs have been directed to call volunteers to be stationed outside venue of meeting: Yogendra Yadav.
  • There is no confirmation there will be secret vote, no confirmation of videography: Yogendra Yadav
  • What they are showing is list of some possible names, yes we discussed, what is the allegation, what is the conspiracy: Yogendra Yadav.
  • They are trying to show two pieces of papers, one in which during course of discussion they had proposed if two of us step down they would be willing to consider new and independent people in NE: Yogendra Yadav.
  • Hours later, Yogendra Yadav rejects counter-allegations levelled by the Kejriwal camp.  
  • Decision regarding them will be taken tomorrow: Ashutosh.
  • Yadav and Bhushan also owe certain explanations too: Ashutosh.
  • That is the kind of internal democracy they are advocating: Ashutosh. 
  • On one side they want election of people for NE through secret ballet, on the other they give us a list of 9 people: Ashutosh.
  • They gave us a list of people they wanted to be a part of NE, and National Council should approve of it, we said yes to that also: Ashish Khetan.
  • We are trying to maintain absolute transparency in the party: Ashish Khetan.
  • Both Yadav and Bhushan wanted to dominate AAPNE by nominating their close aides: Sanjay.
  • Yadav, Bhushan want to make new front, weaken AAP, says Sanjay Singh.
  • Yadav, Bhushan misled the party workers in the name of internal democracy in AAP: Sanjay Singh   .
  • We told Yadav and Bhushan they shouldn't discredit the party with a 'holier than thou' attitude: Khetan.
  • We requested Yogendra to not make statements that malign the image of the party, to which he tendered a collective apology: Khetan.
  • It was drafted that the national leadership would consult with state centres on elections, both agreed: Ashish Khetan.
  • It was also decided that the minutes be maintained during meetings, record of expenditures to be maintained, to which Yogendra, Prashant Bhushan agreed: Khetan.
  • When party was fighting an existential war, two party leaders were trying to weaken the party and malign its image: Khetan.
  • There was a reason why it was decided to remove two senior leaders of party from PAC: Ashish Khetan.
  • It was unanimously decided that internal matters of party should not be discussed publicly: Ashish Khetan.
  • Their intention was to get people close to them  nominated to AAP National Executive: Sanjay Singh.
  • Yogendra suggested names for national executive: Sanjay Singh.
  • Representatives of Yadav, Bhushan didn't care about 5 issues eventually, only wanted specific people in NE: Singh.
  • Sting operation which Yadav had himself condemned is now being backed by Bhushan: Sanjay Singh.
  • PAC has already decided on some of the 5 issues Bhushan ji raised, some are being worked on: Sanjay Singh.
  • Spoken to Bhushan, Yadav many times to resolve AAP crisis: Sanjay Singh.
  • We have tried our best to save the AAP family:  AAP's Sanjay Singh.
  • When you talk about voting through secret ballot, you should've waited for the NC meet to take place: Sanjay Singh.
  • Yogendra ji proposed that all decisions be taken via secret ballet in AAP National Executive meetings: Sanjay Singh.
  • He said that volunteers should have a say in party decisions, he said party should be brought under RTI, and we agreed on this: Sanjay Singh.
  • We didn't agree upon any of the things they proposed: Sanjay Singh.
  • They've tried to give an impression that Arvind ji and all of us are at fault: Sanjay Singh.
  • They are finding faults with Arvind Kejriwal: Sanjay Singh.
  • Bhushan and Yadav trying to show that they are saviours and only we have problems: Sanjay Singh
  • Yogendra Yadav ji and Prashant Bhushan have raised many questions in a press conference earlier today: Sanjay Singh, AAP.
  • AAP leaders - Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, Ashish Khetan - respond to Prashant Bhushan, Yoegendra Yadav's charge.
  • AAP to hold a press conference at 4 pm to give details on why talks failed with Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, say party AAP sources.
  • AAP leaders are holding a meeting following Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav's press conference.  
  • People in the party are spreading lies about us. I had never expected this - Bhushan.
  • But if talks start like 'either you tender your resignation or we'll remove you', then it (talks) will be difficult - Yadav.
  • If Kejriwal finds time to meet us, we will surely talk to him. There is nothing irreconcilable - Yadav.
  • Party workers have been sending letters to me and Prashant ji, they want the party to be united - Yadav​.
  • If the party agrees to our five demands, we will tender our resignation in 30 minutes - Yadav​.
  • I had even supported the idea that Kejriwal should continue as national convenor after taking over as Delhi chief minister - Bhushan.
  • Yadav asks his supporters not to raise slogans during the press conference.
  • Why is Arvind Kejriwal silent amid all this? We have been forced to talk to him via a press conference - Prof Kumar.
  • AAP leader Professor Anand Kumar says Yadav and Bhushan never asked for Kejriwal to be removed as party's national convenor.
  • The calls are being made from mobile number 9990009830 which is in the name of Pawan Sharma, who is the administrator of WhatsApp group of Delhi AAP MLAs - Yogendra Yadav.
  • A lie is being spread since the last few days regarding me that I have been running a campaign asking people over phone to promote me for the post of national convenor.
  • We have written a letter regarding tomorrow's National Council meeting. We have demanded that it be held in a civilised manner and that it should be video-graphed. We have been informed that those attending tomorrow's National Council meeting have been asked not to bring in their mobile phones.
  • We were always told that we should take Haryana. We always told them that it was never an issue.
  • We reiterate today that if our five demands are met, tomorrow morning we will resign from all party executive posts - Bhushan.
  • Lies are being spread about us, that we have resigned. We had offered to resign only after our five demands were met, but the same never happened.
  • Second, having a good intention is not enough, your means also need to be just and fair - Bhushan.
  • I always told Kejriwal that he had two shortcomings – first, you want to take decisions in an autocratic manner, you don't want people in you team who can oppose your decisions. He then told me that I have never been in an organisation where are my decisions are not accepted – Bhushan.
  • While we continued to oppose such a move, we were also kept in dark about the negotiations that were happening.
  • When Congress stated that it will not support any AAP government, it reflected badly on the party.
  • In between, a letter was sent to the Delhi LG and the same got leaked in the media.
  • We told him in this manner party will get split. The matter was then referred to the National Executive.
  • Kejriwal then said Ï am the national convenor and I can take this decision (to take support from Congress).
  • A PAC meeting was called and five members opposed such an idea.
  • The idea was floated that we should form govt in Delhi by taking support from Congress. Many leaders opposed this.
  • All this saga started after the Lok Sabha polls - Bhushan.
  • Kejriwal had said that either we should split or he will form a separate regional party with his 66 MLAs.
  • We were told Arvind Kejriwal cannot work with us anymore - Bhushan.
  • We were asked not to raised any matter regarding the party chief - Bhushan.
  • The only thing we were told is that “you first resign from the National Executive; rest will sorted out later” - Bhushan.
  • I had sent an SMS to Arvind Kejriwal when he was returning from Bengaluru asking him to meet and sort out the issues. Unfortunately, he has not find time to meet us - Bhushan.
  • Prashant Bhushan is now speaking.
  • Will AAP become a regional party or will continue to have national ambitions?
  • The big question is – will AAP become a party like any other?
  • As per party's constitution, National Council is not the forum where decision on national convenor can be taken. Only National Executive can decide on it - Yadav.
  • Who will be party's national convenor is not an issue, we have never raised it - Yadav.
  • We are happy that at tomorrow's National Council meet, important issues will be discussed instead of non-issues.
  • Trust in AAP has been broken by events of past few weeks - Yadav.
  • Fifth, if any voting takes place during tomorrow's National Council meeting it should be through secret ballot.
  • Fourth, we demanded that we should be transparent like we have been demanding of other parties and should accept RTI.
  • Thirdly, we demanded that volunteers who are soul of the party should be heard.
  • Second issue we raised was of internal probe by AAP Lokpal of incidents like recovery of liquor from AAP's Uttam Nagar candidate's home, donations to party through Rs 2 crore cheques.
  • We raised the first issue of independence of state units, that they be allowed to decide on local body polls.
  • We have raised several issues - Yadav.
  • A lot has happened in the past weeks - Yadav .
  • The issues that have been raised are not of one or two individuals - Yadav.
  • It is a struggle to protect the soul of the movement - Yadav.
  • People have high expectations from party - Yadav.
  • APP has been born out of struggle - Yadav.
  • Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan are holding a press conference.
  • The Arvind Kejriwal faction of AAP will hold a counter-press conference at around 1:30 pm, say reports.
  • Dissident AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan are expected to hold a press conference shortly. It is widely expected that the duo may release a sting operation against a senior AAP leader.
  • Party belongs to workers and they understand what the truth is - Ashutosh
  • Even during polls Prashant Bhushan said that Arvind Kejriwal is worse than Congress' Ajay Maken. We never made the inside talks public - Ashutosh
  • Party's image is getting marred, this is not good – AAP leader Ashutosh
  • There is some deep conspiracy against Arvind Kejriwal. There were many "sting operations" to defame Arvind – AAP leader Dilip Pandey
  • Greed for power is what is causing problems within AAP. This party is probably worse than other parties, says Congress leader PC Chacko.
  • If nothing is working then you (Bhushan and Yadav) should depart gracefully, Vishwas tells ANI. He adds, “Personal jealousy and frustration is there. But there are also some forces behind the rift within the AAP.”
  • Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav themselves sent resignation through mail. They lied that they never resigned, says AAP leader Kumar Vishwas.
  • It's unfortunate that excuses are made and impression is given that Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were against the party, says BJP leader Shazia Ilmi.  
  • AAP Volunteers Aawaz Manch (AVAM) is also likely to hold a press conference today.
  • Meanwhile, BJP has hit out at AAP amid its ongoing internal crisis. “AAP has degenerated into the worst kind of a party where one man is at the helm. It is turning to be another Congress where one man and one family rules,” said BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao.
  • AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan are expected to hold a press conference today.
  • The AAP is heading for a showdown with reports stating that senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan would be sacked from the party at Saturday's National Council meet.

The latest round of negotiations to end infighting within the party ended in failure on Thursday night with both sides making allegations and counter-allegations against each other.

The AAP yesterday accused both Yadav and Bhushan of continuing to work against party chief Arvind Kejriwal. The duo, however, denied the allegations and said they had been told clearly during the negotiations that nothing less than their resignations from the National Executive would do.

AAP leader Ashish Khetan even claimed that the two had tendered their resignations but the duo denied this.

Khetan, a Kejriwal loyalist, said after a meeting of the AAP's Political Affairs Committee that there will be no further talks with Bhushan and Yadav and that all the issues will be taken up at the National Council meeting on Saturday.

Bhushan, meanwhile, told a press conference last night that they had never sought Kejriwal's resignation as the national convenor.

Shortly after, AAP leader Sanjay Singh told a counter-press conference that the two leaders' (Yadav and Bhushan's) ego led to the failure of reconciliation talks.

Last evening, senior party leaders Manish Sisodia also tweeted, "Talks with PB and YY failed. They insisting on removing AK from National Conv post. NC to decide on 28 July weather to remove AK or not! (sic)"

“Despite accepting all their demands they are insisting to remove AK. In public they say AK is the leader, in pvt they insist on his removal. (sic)”

Bhushan and Yadav, in an open letter, accused Kejriwal of initiating the reconciliation talks only to secure their resignation from the the National Executive and alleged that he was not showing seriousness on any of the major issues raised by them.

In the letter, Bhushan and Yadav said they had offered to resign, provided the party accepts a number of their demands to ensure greater transparency in the party.

"Slowly it dawned upon us that the principle intent of these talks is to secure our resignation. The bottomline for interlocutors from your side was that the two of us must resign from the National Executive. We were told that this is your personal insistence."

"We were told that you are not willing to be the national convenor as long as the two of us are members of National Executive," Bhushan and Yadav said in the letter.

Yadav and Bhushan, who have already been removed from party's Political Affairs Committee, further said they were told that Kejriwal was not willing to be the national convenor if they are part of the National Executive.

"This is exactly what you had said when demanding our removal from PAC."

In the letter, Yadav and Bhushan also claimed that they had never made any attempt to dislodge Kejriwal from national convenor's position in the party and that they always extended whatever support they could give to him.

"We have been compelled to communicate to you through this open letter. It is ten days since the two of us asked you for an appointment on your return from Bangalore. But you have not yet managed to find the time slot for us," they said.

At a press conference, Yadav said he and Bhushan were ready to resign if five of their demands, including ordering probe into all the recent allegations of irregularities by party's Lokpal and allowing the party to public scrutiny under provisions of RTI, were met.

Last night, Yadav also made public a "note", jointly written with Bhushan, which he had sent to the party on March 17 claiming that they had proposed their resignation from all party posts conditional to acceptance of their demands.

Countering the claim made by Kejriwal loyalists that the Yadav-Bhushan duo had voluntarily offered to step down, Yadav said that towards the end of the note, in which the duo laid down certain demands, they said upon acceptance of these they would resign from the National Executive and also give up other positions.

"If these are accepted, both of us will happily step down from the National Executive and will also give up all other party positions and responsibilities,” Yadav stated.

(With Agency inputs)