New Delhi, December 3: Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas on Sunday said that the party was holding a dialogue with those who left the outfit, including senior advocate Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, to facilitate their return to the party fold. The controversial remarks, however, were refuted by a party leader close to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“If no one has joined a political party and wants to come here … if one has formed a political party and wants to merge their party with ours … if someone went back for doing social work after being unhappy with us … the list is long. From Subhash Ware to Anjali Damania, Mayank Gandhi, Dharamvira Gandhi to Prashant ji and Yogendra ji.

“We are synchronising the list (of such people). Dialogues are being held with them by volunteers. We will ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we did,” Kumar said after an interaction with party volunteers at the AAP office here.

AAP founder members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were sacked by the party in April, 2015, for “anti-party” activities after they questioned party supremo Arvind Kejriwal’s style of functioning.

Subhash Ware, on the other hand, was the party head of Maharashtra state unit, and was considered close to Yadav and Bhushan. Although, Ware continues to be a part of the party, the state unit headed by him was disbanded.

Ware, along with Mayank Gandhi, had opposed dropping of Bhushan and Yadav from the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC). Gandhi later quit the party.
Dharamvira Gandhi, AAP MP from Patiala, was also suspended for alleged anti-party activities. Damania also quit citing the ugly slug fest between Kejriwal and Yadav-Bhushan.

Nevertheless, Swaraj India, political party formed by Yadav and Bhushan, dismissed Vishwas’ claims and said those who drifted away from AAP’s ideals were now appealing the activists of the Anna movement to return to the fold.
“Instead of appealing others to come back, they (AAP led by Kejriwal) should come back on the right path,” Swaraj India chief spokesperson Anupam said.

Vishwas, who is believed to be “unhappy” with the present coterie around Kejriwal, also spoke about ‘Aam Aadmi Party version 2’.

When asked to elaborate, the AAP leader said, “The second version (of the party) will focus on giving more priority to volunteers, who will act as ‘anti-virus’ in the outfit”.

Vishwas’ meeting with party volunteers comes a week after his announcement at the Ram Lila Maidan here that he would be interacting with the party cadre more often.

Speaking at the party’s fifth anniversary last week, the AAP leader had lamented that the party had drifted away from its core principles and needed “course correction”.

(With input from agencies)