New Delhi: AAP on Wednesday took a step further in removing rebel leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from the party and referred their case to its disciplinary committee, a day after the dissidents organised 'Swaraj Samvad' convention.
The all-powerful Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of AAP also referred the case of Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha, who were removed from the National Executive along with Bhushan and Yadav, to the disciplinary panel.
The decision was taken at the PAC meeting, chaired by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at his Civil Lines residence in New Delhi on Wednesday evening.
This is one of the final stages of expelling the rebel leaders from the party after they were sacked from AAP's top echelons, party sources claimed.
"The PAC has taken into consideration anti-party activities (of the leaders) over the past few months. There was a discussion of floating a new party at the Swaraj Samvad, which itself is anti-party in nature. The PAC has referred the case of Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Prof. Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha to National Disciplinary Committee of the party.
"The next step and decision will be take by the disciplinary committee," senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said after the meeting.
No action has been taken yet against AAP's Timarpur MLA Pankaj Pushkar, who is in the core group of Swaraj Abhiyan, or party MP Dharamvira Gandhi, who had protested the sacking of the rebel leaders in the National Council meeting. The party had warned its leaders and volunteers of action if they attended the convention.
Bhushan had been heading the disciplinary committee until he was removed from the panel last month. The three-member committee is now headed by Dinesh Waghela and its other members are Pankaj Gupta and Ashish Khetan, all of them Kejriwal loyalists.
The move came a day after the rebels organised Swaraj Samvad convention at Gurgaon, in which they announced floating of a new group and also lashed out at the party leadership, questioning inner party democracy and transparency.
Prof. Kumar was on Wednesday picked as the national convener for 'Swaraj Abiyan', the movement which was announced by the rebels on Thursday.
Responding to an impending disciplinary action, Bhushan quoted from 'Alice in Wonderland' and said, "Let the execution take place, the trial can follow."
"We are not quitting the AAP. We are carriers of the founding principles of the party. If they want to sack us, let them. We have never worked against the party.
There is a difference between being anti-party and being disliked by the party leadership," Yadav said in a news conference on Wednesday, just before the PAC meeting.
AAP leader Singh said the PAC meeting also discussed plans for the April 22 protest against the Land Acquisition Act.