A day after it ousted rebel leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the National Executive, adopting a resolution in a National Council meeting, that witnessed extreme acrimony and allegations flying thick between two warring sides, the Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday released the video of party’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal’s speech where he said he was back stabbed by his own companions.In a 45-0 minute speech at the National Council meeting on Saturday, the Delhi Chief Minister claimed, “When the entire Delhi supported us, some of my colleagues back stabbed us. When we came to power following a landslide victory, BJP and Congress became afraid of us but their tension was eased by some of our own party members.”
He said neither him nor Yadav or Bhushan could gain from this internal rift.”From our internal turmoil, who benefitted? This rift benefitted Modi…It helped the Congress and the Amabanis,” Kejriwal claimed.He said he was attacked by my own friends.”I did not want to fight with Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. I came to power to fight against corruption,” said he.He said due to this rift earlier, he wanted to leave the party but was persuaded by Bhushan and Yadav.Around 45 minutes long video shows Kejriwal accusing dissidents Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan of conspiring against the party.
“Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav had threatened us before Delhi polls that they will hold press conference and destroy the party. The senior members of AAP had to convince them not to defame the party as it was heading for a historic win. This has been going on for the past one year,” Kejriwal said in the video.
He further revealed, “In February last year, Yogendra Yadav’s PA Vijay Raman called one of our volunteers, Satya, and told him that I will be removed from party’s convenor’s post as I was made Delhi’s CM. He also told Satya that since Yadav will take over the charge of national convenor, he would form his own secretariat and Satya was being considered to be a part of it.”
“After LS polls debacle, I was targeted many times. In June first week, our NE meet was held. In the meeting I broke down in tears and told everyone that I can fight against Modi, Gadkari, Khurshid and Ambani, but can’t fight against Prashantji and Yadav. I decided to quit politics, but both Yadav and Prashantji convinced me not to take such a decision,” he added.
Talking about alleged conspiracies, Kejriwal said, “A faction of AAP had supported AVAM for spreading lies against our funding in media. Prashantji had told people that he wanted party’s defeat in Delhi so that they can do introspection. Stories were being planted against us in media. Reacting on a media report, our volunteer called Yadav and asked him if he has spoken to a journalist against AAP, but Yadav denied. However, later he accepted it and when we called the journalist to enquire about the story’s source she told us that Yadav had told a group of journalists during a breakfast meet in Chandigarh to write against me.”
Hinting at Shanti Bhushan, Kejriwal said that he was in for a shock when he heard a statement in media that a senior most member of AAP had said that his first choice for Delhi CM was Kiran Bedi, second was Ajay Maken and third was Kejriwal.
“We tried all possible ways to mend ways, but all in vain. They also placed five condition before us and we agreed to all, but later they said that they were only bargaining with us,” he said.
A resolution to remove the two dissident leaders along with their supporters Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha from the powerful panel was passed at the National Council with 247 members supporting it.
10 members opposed it while 54 others did not take part in the voting, AAP National Secretary Pankaj Gupta said.
After the meeting, Yadav and Bhushan accused Kejriwal of using unfair means including bringing goons at the meeting who allegedly beat up a number of National Council members opposed to the resolution.
“It was a murder of democracy. Everything played out in accordance with a predetermined script and the resolution was moved and passed within minutes completely disregarding laid down procedures. It was a total farce,” said an agitated Yadav.
Bhushan alleged Kejriwal came fully prepared to “kick us out” from the party and that a number of NC members, who supported him, and Yadav were injured.
(With PTI inputs)
“I wanted to leave the party but then I said I will fight elections only if I had the power to take decisions. There was total conspiracy to make me lose in the Delhi Assemblt polls. Prashantji wanted me to lose,” he said.Accusing the rebel leaders, Kejriwal said, “They used to blackmail us and say if this is not done, we will call a press conference and spoil the party’s image.”
“I did not come here for power. I did not give tickets to my own relatives since we wanted our candidates to be clean,” he said.Speaking about the sms which Bhushan sent him for a personal meeting, he said, “I wanted to meet Prashantji too but i was afraid that he will tell everything to TV channels. He did not want to meet me. His intention was to tarnish my image.”
“I sent a representative to Yadav’s house to resolve the issue. He said he had 5 issues. He demanded that if we accept all his proposals, he will leave. This was just a show,” claimed the Delhi CM.Kejriwal said the party had accepted all conditions. “I had no problem on probe over me also but once it will be done, BJP will oppose being my CM,” Kejriwal said.Speaking on how he relied on the two rebel leaders, Kejriwal said, “They wanted Haryana, we said okay. I went to Tihar over Prashantji’s one nod.”
Ending his address he said he cannot work as an active member with them present in the party.
“I want to give up my claim in the party. I announce my failure. I can’t work like this. Today, I ask you to choose between me or them,” he appealed to all members of the party’s national council.The Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday defended its stand saying 247 votes were in the favour of the resolution.”A proposal to remove Yogendra yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha from NE was presented in National Council of AAP. There was voting held in the National Council for removal of the four people from the National Executive,” The AAP said in a statement on Saturday.”247 votes in favor of the resolution, 8 against it, 2 gave dissent notes and 54 either walked out or abstained from voting,” it added.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh also refuted Yadav’s claim of violence during the meeting and had said, “There was no violence in the meeting.”
The party’s move signalled the possible expulsion of the two founding members from the party as well.
Many of the party leaders supporting Yadav and Bhushan had, however,alleged that supporters of party chief Arvind Kejriwal dragged them out from the meeting and also used violence against them.
“It was scripted. It was a murder of democracy,” Yadav had said after the meeting.
“There was bogus voting in the meeting. Many of the National Council members who supported us were injured,” he had said.
“Whatever Arvind Kejriwal was heard saying in a sting yesterday was played out in the entirety in today’s meeting,” said Bhushan. “Goons were brought to the meeting. Our supporters were beaten up inside the meeting. The meeting was a total farce,” he had added.