This Article is From Apr 21, 2015

'AAP has Turned into a Khap:' Expelled Leaders Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav Target Arvind Kejriwal

File Photo: Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan at a press conference in New Delhi. (Press Trust of India)

New Delhi: After weeks of acrimony and public wrangling, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) finally expelled founder members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan late on Monday night.

The exit that Mr Yadav and Mr Bhushan had predicted weeks ago took place in stages. The two leaders were systematically removed from all party panels, and then served notice by a disciplinary committee that Mr Bhushan once headed.

Both leaders hit back with scathing, public replies to the notice on Monday, leaving little scope for reconciliation. An AAP statement said the two had been expelled for "gross indiscipline and anti-party activities," and the decision was unanimous.

"AAP is now run by a Khaap (panchayat). All dreams of a movement have been shattered by a small coterie and a dictator," said Mr Bhushan this morning, tearing into party chief Arvind Kejriwal, his former collaborator in various anti-corruption crusades since 2011.

"At least now the nautanki (drama) is over. I feel deep regret, but no question of personal loss," the senior lawyer added.

Yogendra Yadav tweeted, "Still waiting for order of expulsion. If it was indeed a 'Disciplinary Committee' the least one expects is an order that states its grounds."

Mr Yadav and Mr Bhushan said they were hounded for taking on Arvind Kejriwal, who is the chief minister of Delhi, and objecting to what they called his dictatorial ways.

AAP charged the two of trying to unseat Mr Kejriwal and sabotage AAP's campaign for the Delhi election, which ended with a record result for India's youngest party.

The infighting that began just days after that victory peaked last week when the rebels announced a new campaign, "Swaraj Abhiyan," and offered a platform for disenchanted party volunteers to openly voice their criticism and vote on the possibility of forming a new party.

Action is now expected against more rebels, including Prashant Bhushan's father and former law minister Shanti Bhushan, and Mayank Gandhi, a senior AAP leader in Maharashtra.

"When will you throw me out, Arvind? I am waiting for that impatiently. Arvind should adopt Hitler's dress as he has already adopted his ways," said Shanti Bhushan.