The Aam Aadmi Party dropped two founder members, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, from its decision-making process as it tackled the first major internal crisis in its three-year history.
Mr. Yadav and Mr Bhushan, who have repeatedly attacked party chief Arvind Kejriwal in the past few days, were voted out of AAP’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) in a six-hour meeting.
“All I have to say is that the decision taken by majority will be given by the competent authority,” Mr. Yadav said.
Mr. Bhushan said, “All I can say is, I and Yogendra yadav won’t be members of the PAC for the time being.”
The party rejected the resignation of Mr. Kejriwal, who had said in a letter this morning that he was “overburdened with work” as Delhi’s Chief Minister, and would not be able to handle both jobs efficiently. Sources say he did not want to be part of the meeting.
The party reportedly spent hours trying to get Mr. Yadav and Mr. Bhushan to accept a face-saving exit and quit without a vote. The two leaders, who have been increasingly critical in their assessment of Arvind Kejriwal and the party’s functioning, reportedly resisted the offer to “resign gracefully.”
Of the 19 National Executive members who attended the meeting, 11 raised their hands in favour of removing them.
AAP has accused the two leaders of conspiring to unseat Mr. Kejriwal and working against the party.s interests.
Mr. Yadav and Mr. Bhushan have, in the past few days, alleged that the three-year-old party has strayed from the core ideals of internal democracy and transparency that set it apart. The leadership battle was exposed by several internal notes flying between two camps.
Mr. Kejriwal, 46, will fly to Bengaluru tomorrow for 10-day treatment at a naturopathy farm.
“I am deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party… I refuse to be drawn in this ugly battle,” he had tweeted on Tuesday.