The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has called for a key meeting of its Political Affairs Committee tonight (26 March) amid reports that Arvind Kejriwal wants Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan to leave the National Executive.
Reconciliation talks between the two warring factions in AAP appeared to have been collapsed on Wednesday with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal insisting on Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan quitting the National Executive ahead of the crucial National Council meeting on 28 March, a source from the AAP told PTI.
Yadav and Bhushan reportedly made it clear that there was no valid ground for them to step down from the 21-member National Executive and the rival camp should instead address the issues raised by them.
Kejriwal, a key aide of his said, remained firm that the two should quit the National Executive before the National Council meeting on Saturday.
Last ditch efforts by party Lokpal Admiral Ramdas to push for reconciliation failed to make any headway with both camps sticking to their stands.
However, Ilyas Azmi, member of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) said patch up efforts were still underway. “We will keep trying till the last minute,” he said after the last PAC meeting in New Delhi.
The party’s NC is expected to deliberate on the issues in the party. Both Kejriwal and Yadav are trying to consolidate volunteers’ support ahead of the 28 March meeting.
The talks that began last week with the aim of bridging the trust deficit between the two groups after Yadav and Bhushan were ousted from the PAC showed no signs of rapprochement.
Yadav and Bhushan have been pressing for resolution of key issues like implementation of critical matters such as volunteer participation in AAP’s decision making, autonomy to its state units, bringing the party under the ambit of RTI and appointment of Lokayukta at the state level.
Late in the night, Yogendra Yadav said, “A fake campaign is being run in my name. Callers with false identities proposing me as national convenor. Ridiculous. Outrageous. BEWARE!(sic).”
“More info about fake campaign coming in. If anyone calls you on my behalf and solicits support for me against AK (Arvind Kejriwal), please note the no and report,” Yadav tweeted.
Earlier on Wednesday, a National Council member from Punjab demanded that Kejriwal launch an inquiry into a parallel meeting called by a section a day prior to the body’s crucial meet on 28 March.
In a letter to Kejriwal, Ashok Talwar, an NC member from Amritsar, said the meeting has been called on the “pretext” of having discussion on Swaraj and internal democracy and alleged that some “deep conspiracy for vested interests” was on to destabilise the party.
The talks that began last week with the aim of bridging the trust deficit between the two groups after Yadav and Bhushan were ousted from AAP’s Political Affairs Committee had led to a consensus that the two factions would focus on resolving the issues.
However, the bone of contention is the implementation of critical matters such as volunteer participation in AAP’s decision making, autonomy to its state units, bringing the party under the ambit of RTI and appointment of Lokayukta at the state level.
The two sides are stuck over “theory” and “practicality” of the probable solutions to the contentious issues. However, the sources also indicated that both groups were making last-ditch efforts to salvage the talks.