Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders held a meeting at Yogendra Yadav’s residence late on Monday night, in a bid to reconcile the warring factions of the party after Arvind Kejriwal returned from his break.
When asked by CNN-IBN, Yadav refused to divulge complete details of the meeting. “Some of my party friends came home and we spoke. We will let you know when our talks are complete.” Party leaders Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas, too, said the same adding that the party is like a family.
The Kejriwal camp had alleged that Bhushan along with his father Shanti Bhushan and Yadav tried to remove Kejriwal from the post of the AAP national convener.
Following the action against Bhushan and Yadav, charges and counter-charges were made by the two sides while party MLAs close to Kejriwal signed a petition demanding expulsion of the duo.
Kejriwal had said on the issue, “I am deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party. This is a betrayal of trust that Delhi posed in us. I refuse to be drawn in this ugly battle. Will concentrate only on Delhi’s governance.” He has since kept mum on the issue, opting for a getaway for Ayurvedic treatment.
Prashant Bhushan meanwhile sent a message to Kejriwal asking for a “face-to-face” meeting to talk about this “controversy”. “Hope that a face to face meeting will help in resolving issues,” he said to the media.
Bhushan had sent a message to Keriwal for a one-on-one meeting before the March 4 National Executive meeting. However, Kejriwal had ignored him and used party’s national secretary Pankaj Gupta to relay his stand; either Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were voted out of the Parliamentary Affairs Committee or he would quit as national convenor.
Capitalising on this opportunity, AAP leader Professor Anand Kumar tweeted that this message from Bhushan was a “silver lining for all AAP volunteers and well wishers” as it presented the opportunity for a truce after the fallout of the March 4 national executive meeting.
Bhushan and Kumar’s stance has created ground for some negotiation and compromise in the run up to the national council meeting on March 28. The NC has the powers to vote people in and out of the national executive, leaving Bhushan and Yadav vulnerable to being ousted from the party entirely. It remains to be seen whether Kejriwal’s position is still ‘us vs them’ or whether 10 days of yoga and naturopathy has made him amenable to talking things out.
The row escalated on Monday after the party suspended former AAP MLA Rajesh Garg, who recorded his phone conversation with Kejriwal in July 2014, in which the two discuss how to break away Congress MLAs and gain support for AAP.