New Delhi: Cracking the whip, the Aam Aadmi Party's national disciplinary committee on Monday expelled rebel leaders Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha for anti-party activities and "gross indiscipline". Upset over the decision, Yadav said that he feels like he has been thrown out of his own house.
"I am not surprised as from the past few days the matter was moving in such direction. Though I also cannot deny the fact that I am hurt by it. How would you feel if someone drags and throws you out of your own house," he said.
Hitting out at party chief Arvind Kejriwal over the expulsions, one of AAP's founding members Shanti Bhushan said that he is highly disappointed with him. "I made a mistake in identifying Arvind Kejriwal. It is a very serious mistake as to what kind of person he is. He is the new Hitler," he said.
The decision comes two days after the party issued a show-cause notice to the rebel leaders. The rebels were given show-cause notice on April 17 to explain the reason for organising 'Swaraj Samwad'. Three of them responded to the notice except Jha. Though, AAP said that it was not satisfied with the response it got to the show-cause notice.
Bhushan was charged with working for party's defeat in the Delhi assembly polls. He was also charged with supporting AWAM, a break away group of the party.
In their response to the notice, the rebels had accused party chief Arvind Kejriwal of "gross violation" of its constitution. Also attacking members of its disciplinary panel, Bhushan accused Ashish Khetan of doing a "planted" story and Pankaj Gupta of accepting donations from dubious firms.
Both Bhushan and Yadav questioned the locus standi of the committee for seeking their reply, saying decisions in the party were being taken ad-hoc and that the panel was formed after the "illegal" and "unconstitutional" meeting of the party's National Council on March 28.
AAP said in a statement,"National Disciplinary Committee met on April 20 at VP House to decide on the complaints against Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha. The committee received the responses of Yadav, Bhushan and Kumar while Jha failed to furnish his response within the prescribed time." The Committee carefully considered responses furnished by Yadav, Bhushan and Kumar and found them "unsatisfactory", the statement said.
"The Committee, therefore, has decided to expel all the four members from the party," said the party statement.
Bhushan and Yadav were removed from AAP's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) on March 4. Both the camps--one headed by Kejriwal and second by the rebel duo-- resorted to talks, but the negotiations failed after which Bhushan, Yadav, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha were removed from National Executive, AAP's highest decision-making body.
The rebel leaders had then organised Swaraj Samvad convention on April 17. Falling short of declaring a new political outfit, the rebel camp announced of starting of Swaraj Abhiyan across the country. Bhushan and Yadav were one of the founder leaders of the AAP.