DELHI(PTI): Dissident AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday maintained suspense over their future plans but did not rule out forming a political party after taking views of volunteers and well-wishers supporting them.
Wrathful over the way Kejriwal was running the party, Bhushan said he and Yadav will have detailed discussions with their supporters from across the country at a meeting on April 14 which has been convened to channelise the positive energy of those AAP members who “felt betrayed” by the current leadership.
“It need not be a political party. But it could also be a political party depending upon what they want and what happens. My personal opinion is that we should right now concentrate on issues and movements rather than forming a political party,” Bhushan said.
The lawyer, who had joined hands with Kejriwal over 10 years back during the RTI movement, said he felt “very sad” at the way he and Yadav were removed.
Expressing regret over supporting Kejriwal, Bhushan said the way the National Council meeting on March 28 was conducted was “unpardonable”. Bhushan claimed that Kejriwal was very desperate to capture power in Delhi after the Lok Sabha poll debacle and continued his efforts just before dissolution of the Delhi Assembly in November last year.
He said Kejriwal even approached a social activist to speak to Rahul Gandhi to garner Congress support.
“In November (2014), he approached Nikhil Dey and asked him to speak to Rahul Gandhi as to get him to Congress support for government formation,” Bhushan said. Dey could not be contacted for his comments.
Giving an account of the events that widened his rift with Kejriwal, Bhushan said soliciting Congress support to form government again after Lok Sabha polls, the decision not to contest assembly polls in Haryana and selection of candidates for Delhi polls were some of the major contentious issues.
Bhushan said though AAP’s Political Affairs Committee and National Executive decided against forming a government with Congress support again, Kejriwal had continued his efforts either to get Congress support or to “breakaway MLAs” from the party.
Asked whether it became untenable to continue in AAP, Bhushan said he cannot go along with Kejriwal and his supporters. “What they did on that day (March 28) was something which is not pardonable,” he said.
On future political course, Bhushan said the efforts would be to channelise the positive energy of the volunteers.
“We need to continue to channelise their energy in a positive direction and one way of doing that would be to make an organisation which gets involved in various major issues like Land reforms, land acquisition, agriculture, environment, communalism. There are many very serious issues facing the country where positive energy can be channelised,” he said.
To a question, Bhushan also did not give a clear reply about the future course of action, saying a decision would be taken after consultation with the volunteers and well-wishers. On whether legal recourse would be explored to retain the the name “AAP”, he said such a legal battle would be “very very messy and distasteful”.
“After all AAP is just a name and a symbol apart from few assets etc. Volunteers will do whatever they want. They are very disillusioned today. Today they are feeling very dejected,” he said.
Asked whether they will challenge in court the decision to remove them from AAP National Executive, he did not rule out the possibility but added personally he was not in favour of it. Bhushan said perhaps Kejriwal was “insecure” about Yadav’s presence in the party.
“Perhaps he had that insecurity about Yadav. To my mind it was totally wrong because Yadav never wanted to displace him and become the convener.” The lawyer said the talks had collapsed as Kejriwal camp was just holding talks to convey a message to volunteers and it was not at all serious to bridge the trust deficit.