10:28 am - Saturday November 7, 2015

Will Yogendra Yadav, Bhushan stay with PAC? AAP’s national executive to decide today

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Aam Aadmi Party leaders Prasanth Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav are likely to recuse themselves from the party’s political affairs committee at a crucial meeting to be held on Wednesday, sources said.

The move is part of a face-saver formula worked out with the Arvind Kejriwal camp ahead of the 21-member national executive meeting to be held in Delhi later in the day.

Bhushan and Yadav figure in both the national executive and the nine-member political affairs committee and will take part in Wednesday’s meeting.

Kejriwal will not attend the meeting as he is leaving for Bengaluru for treatment for cough and high sugar levels. “I am deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party. This is betrayal of trust that Delhi reposed in us,” the Delhi CM tweeted on Tuesday, adding, “I refuse to be drawn in this ugly battle,”

The NE was meant to be the real executive body and the PAC was to operate and take quick calls between two NE meetings. But, as Yadav earlier pointed out, the PAC has become all powerful, and fewer and fewer NE meets are taking place, limiting decision-making only to a few people. Kejriwal is said to be not comfortable with the presence of Bhushan and Yadav in the PAC and wants more freedom. Whether or not AAP should expand nationally is one of the bones of contention.

Kejriwal had tendered his resignation as the AAP national convener in the previous national executive meeting held last week, but it was unanimously rejected. He had also skipped that meeting.

If Bhushan and Yadav opt out of the PAC, they would still remain part of the NE but for all practical reasons they would no longer participate in decision making. If the two choose to quit AAP, it will be a jolt to the two-year-old outfit, which made electoral history in Delhi only a month ago sweeping 67 of the 70 assembly seats.

The deep factionalism in the party surfaced after letters from one camp questioned Kejriwal’s style of functioning and the absence of an internal ethics committee.

The hatchet may or may nor be buried at the NE meeting, the disquiet bubbling underneath in the party’s rank and may remain.

“The sticky point is expanding the party’s national footprint, but Kejriwal is not completely convinced with the idea. Yadav and Prashant and some others are in favour of an expansion. This difference will not resolve on its own. Moreover, those who swear by the party’s constitution would not give up the issue of transparency very easily,” an AAP leader said.

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