The stand-off between warring factions of Aam Aadmi Party is all set to intensify after Prashant Bhushan replied to the show cause notice served to him by the party’s faction run by Arvind Kejriwal. Bhushan also made his long letter public soon after he replied with his own litany of charges.
“Ever since the illegal and unconstitutional meeting of the National Council, it appears that a number of ad hoc announcements have been made…All of these purported decisions taken since the NC meeting are illegal since the constitution of the NE itself has been illegal since the NC meeting,” Prashant Bhushan wrote.
Prashant Bhushan along with Yogendra Yadav, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha were served a show cause notice by AAP after the rival faction held ‘Swaraj Samvad’ meet in the outskirts of the capital on 14th April. The meet was attended by several volunteers and some leaders, including the sitting MLA of Delhi Assembly from Timarpur, Pankaj Pushkar.
The four leaders along with few others were removed from all frontal organisation of the party after an acrimonious National Council meeting last month. The four have been charged with anti-party activities by the ruling Kejriwal faction. However, all of them still continue to be the members of AAP. Though there are speculations that show cause notice served to them after holding ‘Swaraj Samvad’ meet may be a precursor to their final eviction.
‘Swaraj Samvad’ meet which was pitched as brainstorming session of those party workers who were unhappy with the ways party has been functioning, was not received well by the strong Kejriwal-run faction.
Bhushan also made allegations against Pankaj Gupta and Ashish Khetan, the members heading newly reconstituted disciplinary committee of the party.
“You also know that there have been serious charges against you yourself…These included the acceptance of ‘donations’ of Rs. 2 Crores from shell companies, without taking the approval of the PAC as required by the party’s rules,” Bhushan wrote alleging Gupta of wrongdoing.
And in his attack on Ashish Khetan, who is considered close to Kejriwal, he said “In his article titled, ‘The Madness in CBI’s method’ which appeared in the Tehelka issue of December 31, 2011, Khetan had sought to defend Essar”.
The feud between the two factions has been on a surge after AAP swept Delhi polls winning 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi Assembly polls early this year.
Bhushan-Yadav faction claims that the party has lost its way, especially on the issues such as internal democracy, funding, arbitrary decision making and party revolving around personality cult of Kejriwal. On the other hand, Kejriwal faction claims that the duo and their loyalists have been working against the official party line with an aim to confront Kejriwal.
However, Kejriwal faction has once again questioned the duo over their conduct. Soon after Bhushan’s reply was made public, Ashutosh tweeted “Before reply reaches to Disciplinary committee, it reaches to all the channels, this is their commitment and resolve to respect institutions.”