Mayank Gandhi speaks out: Majority didn’t want Yadav, Bhushan ousted
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Mayank Gandhi, in a blog post, has said that he was taken aback by the ouster of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of AAP. He added that majority of AAP volunteers from all over the world did not want Yadav and Bhushan to be removed from the PAC.
Senior AAP leaders Yadav and Bhushan, who were on a collision course with party Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, were on Wednesday voted out of Political Affairs Committee of the party, which has been rocked by dissidence in recent days.
In a show-down in the party’s 21-member National Executive (NE), supporters of Kejriwal voted out Yadav and Bhushan by 11 to eight votes. Kejriwal was not present at the meeting while Mayank Gandhi abstained from voting.
Here is the full text of Gandhi’s blog post:
I am extremely sorry that I am breaking the diktat of not speaking to anyone outside on what transpired in the National Executive meeting, yesterday. Generally, I am a disciplined soldier of the party.
Arvind used to say that when they were coming out of the joint draft committee meeting of the Lokpal in 2011, Kapil Sibal used to ask them not to reveal anything to the outside world. Arvind used to answer that it was his primary duty to inform the nation about the proceedings, as he was not a leader but a representative of the people. Truth and transparency was all that he had.
My presence in the National Executive is only as a representative of the volunteers. And I would be dishonest to accept the gag order. The volunteers cannot be removed from the equation; they are the source of the party. Rather than get information from selective leaks and stray statements, I have decided to give some factual details of the meeting in the public domain.
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. Here is an essence of the meeting with regards to removal of YY and PB, based on my understanding. I would request NE to release the minutes of the meeting.
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. Some of us were successful in somehow or other 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
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 4th March.
Yogendra said that he understood that Arvind did not want them in PAC, as it was difficult to him to work together. He and Prashant would be happy to stay out of PAC, but they should not be singled out. 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.
· That PAC continue to function in the present form and YY and PB would not attend any of the meetings.
The meeting broke for some time and Manish and others conferred with the Delhi team of Ashish Khetan, Asutosh, Dilip Pandey and others. After reassembling, Manish proposed a resolution that YY and PB be removed from the PAC and it was seconded by Sanjay Singh.
I abstained to vote, because of two contrary reasons
1. Arvind needs a smooth working in the PAC. So, I agreed that PB and YY may be out of PAC and take some alternate important roles.
2. 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.
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.
The other details may come when the minutes of meeting is released.
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.