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Ouster of top guns drives a wedge into AAP state unit

Some party volunteers talked of a deep divide eroding the basic tenets of the party in the state.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
April 22, 2015 2:39:26 am
AAP, AAP maharashtra, Yogendra yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal, AAP govt, pune news, city news, local news, pune newsline While Subhash Ware termed the expulsion of four senior leaders as “unfortunate”, Maruti Bhapkar called it “illegal”

The ouster of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, considered among the founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has cast a shadow on the Maharashtra unit of Aam Aadmi Party. The reactions were mostly subdued though the fact that came out clearly is that the expulsion had driven a wedge into the party unit, which is divided over the developments taking place in Delhi, where it is the ruling party with a brute majority.

Party state coordinator Subhash Ware termed the expulsion of Yadav, Bhushan, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha as “unfortunate”. A few AAP leaders criticised the expulsion in strong terms. AAP leaders and volunteers talked of a strong discord brewing, ever since the spat between these leaders on one side and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and his “coterie” on the other had set the bitter ball rolling, threatening to split the party unit into two.

For those who did not expect the expulsion, AAP press statement late on Monday evening was a bolt from the blue.

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Ware, stopping short of commenting on a likely split in the party unit, said that both factions in Delhi should have taken the path of reconciliation rather than confrontation. He refused to spell out the likely fallout of the expulsion on the Maharasthtra unit of the party.

Senior AAP leader Maruti Bhapkar was more vocal and termed the expulsion as “illegal.” Bhapkar, who had been openly taking the side of Yadav ever since the acrimony started showing at the National Council meeting of the party, said, “The same people who had complained against Yadav and Bhushan took the decision about their expulsion. It was not done in the prescribed manner.”

Asked about his course of action, Bhapkar said as of now he is a member of AAP but will actively participate in the Swaraj Samvad started by Yadav. “Swaraj happens to be the soul of AAP and the movement started by Yadav is to reclaim the soul of the party. I will take the side of Yadav in his nationwide movement,” he said. Bhapkar, along with several senior leaders, had travelled to Delhi to participate in the Swaraj Samvad earlier this year.

Asked if he feared any disciplinary action against him, Bhapkar replied, “If my action calls for disciplinary action, then let the party take it. I will remain active in the party, too.”

Some party volunteers talked of a deep divide eroding the basic tenets of the party in the state. Many of the erstwhile socialists and Yadav supporters hold key positions in the party and this had led to complaints from party volunteers of a clash of ideas and ideologies.

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