Aam Aadmi Party's leaders and founding members Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan were expelled from the decision making body, the National Executive, following a party meeting at Kapashera in New Delhi on Saturday. They continue to be members of the political party.
Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan spoke to a throng of media-persons following their ouster and said they had literally been 'kicked' out, referring to it as the 'death of democracy'.
Later in the day, social activist Medha Patkar resigned from AAP stating the party has reduced itself to a ' tamasha' as the internal turbulence ended in a clear split pitting Arvind Kejriwal against Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a statement that Yadav and Bhushan tried to defeat AAP in Delhi polls.
Kejriwal's speech was an attack on them and he asked for either their removal or he would leave the post of National Convenor, Yadav and Bhushan said. Manish Sisodia moved a proposal for the removal of Yadav and Bhushan, which was signed by 247 party members against and eight in favour of the two members, according to AAP presser while Bhushan and Yadav maintained that there were 167 votes cast unconstitutionally.
"I apologise to all our workers and supporters in India. His entire speech was an attack on us. His people shouted, heckled us. We asked for a secret vote. There was no discussion, no secret vote. The whole thing was a farce," Yogendra Yadav told the media.
A new sting surfaced where Kejriwal is allegedly heard talking about the removal of the two senior members from the party. He (Kejriwal's voice) says to the other voice (Umesh Singh) in the audio that he is thinking of creating a new political party away from the two members and he, Umesh, is welcome to continue with 'them'. Umesh Singh is heard in the first half of the audio urging Kejriwal to involve himself with the internal rift and sort it out.
An excerpt from the conversation:
"... Itne kameene ho tum log? Itne ghatiya kism ke insaan ho? Kya bargaining kar rahe ho? Hamare mein kshamta kam ho sakti hai, lekin hum dil ke kaale nahi hain." (What kind of scoundrels are you? are you really bargaining with us? We may not have the potential, but we don't have malice within us)
The authenticity of the audio has not been verified as it is a recording of a telephonic conversation. Kejriwal had maintained silence on the widening rift inside the party over the last few days.
Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav had said in a press conference on Friday that they were wiling to resign if democracy was restored in the party, questioning the basic philosophy of the party. They had put forth five demands .
Yadav's supporters Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha have also been removed from the National Executive.