Mumbai, Mar 5: Booting out Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from AAP’s PAC was against the “overwhelming sentiments” of volunteers, especially when they were prepared to step down voluntarily, its National Executive member Mayank Gandhi said today, reflecting the unease in the party over the development. “I was taken aback by the resolution of removing them publicly, especially as they themselves were willing to leave. “Also, this decision to sack them was against the overwhelming sentiments of volunteers from all over the world,” Gandhi, AAP’s key face in Maharashtra, said in his blog, a day after the two founding members of the party were removed from the Political Affairs Committee. (Also read: Mayank Gandhi deplores ‘manner, intention’ in removing Yogendra Yadav and Prahsnat Bhushan from AAP core group)
Gandhi, who abstained from voting during the crucial PAC meeting in Delhi last night, also appeared to dare action against him by the party, saying he had written the blog defying a gag order. “Last night, I was told that disciplinary action would be taken against me, if I revealed anything. So be it ? my first allegiance is to the higher truth,” he said. Giving the background of the rift between AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal and the two leaders, Gandhi said during the Delhi campaign, Prashant Bhushan had threatened multiple times that he will hold press conference against the party, because of his concerns on candidate selection.
However, other leaders managed to “stave off” the threat till the elections. “It was alleged that Yogendra Yadav was conspiring against Arvind and some evidences were produced. There were also operational irreconcilable differences and trust deficit between AK, PB and YY,” Gandhi said. “On 26th Feb night when members of the NE went to meet him, Arvind conveyed that he will not be able to work as Convenor, if these two members were part of the PAC. That was the background of the NE on March 4,” he said.
Recounting last night’s developments, Gandhi said Yadav told the National Executive he understood that Kejriwal does not want the two leaders in the PAC and that both leaders would be happy to stay out of it. “Two formulas were put forward by him… That the PAC be reconstituted and new PAC members be elected through voting. PB and YY will not put their candidature and that PAC continue to function in the present form and Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan would not attend any of the meetings,” Gandhi said.
“So, while I agreed that they can step down from the PAC, the manner and intention behind the resolution was not acceptable. Hence, the decision to abstain,” he added. Gandhi said making public what transpired at the National Executive meeting through the blog should not be construed as a “revolt” but appeared prepared for the consequences. “This is not a revolt, nor is this some publicity ploy. I will not go to the press. There may be some repercussions overt and covert against me. So be it,” he added.