Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were later expelled from the party’s National Executive.
The Aam Aadmi Party has released a video of party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s speech at the National Council meeting on Saturday while the AAP crisis continues to simmer. Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were later expelled from the party’s National Executive. Here are the key points that Kejriwal discusses in the 45-minute video: On the internal party riftKejriwal said that the party’s own people acted as enemies. “BJP and Congress were shaken after we won 67 seats in the Delhi elections. But they did not have to worry, as our own people acted as our rivals.” Addressing the internal rift in the party, Kejriwal said, “When the whole of Delhi stood behind us, some friends of ours cheated us. I am saying this with a heavy heart that when the whole of Delhi was with us, some friends backstabbed us.”Kejriwal accused senior party members Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav of trying to realise their personal ambitions under the garb of raising issues of “principles”, and in the process, weakening the party. He said the negotiations over the past few days from the side of Bhushan and Yadav were nothing but a sham under the veil of principles.He also questioned the ideologies of ‘internal democracy’ and ‘Swaraj’ that Yadav and Bhushan said they wanted for AAP. “Whatever happened in the last one and a half months, did it help anyone? Did we achieve internal democracy? Did we establish Swaraj? We were all defamed,” he said. He said that only AAP’s rivals benefited. “Only Narendra Modi, the BJP, Ambani… benefited from the controversy.”He said that Bhushan and Yadav resorted to arm-twisting methods to achieve their demands. “There were attempts to weaken me and the party. When I came back from Bengaluru, I spoke to members of my team and sent them the same night to speak to Yogendra bhai. From that day to day before yesterday (Thursday), we tried our best to resolve the problem.”He added that Bhushan’s and Yadav’s demand that they will quit after their demands are fulfilled was a farce to show they work for principles. He said that giving into the demands would be playing into their opponents hands. “They (Yadav and Bhushan) first said they had five demands which, if met, they would quit all party posts. It was slightly shocking, normally people say either fix the party or we will quit… It was all a sham. They were showing the world that it was a fight of principles,” Kejriwal added. On Yogendra YadavTalking about the breakfast meeting that Yogendra Yadav had held with journalists and the recording which was leaked in the media, the AAP chief said that stories were being planted to tarnish his image. “Stories were planted. Senior editors of two big news channels have told me that Yogendra Yadav was planting stories against me,” he said.He added that Yadav believed he would replace Kejriwal as the convenor as Yadav’s former PA Vijay Raman had called to interview someone for the post of secretary once this happened. “Kejriwal doesn’t have a good political sense and should not be National Convener,” the PA reportedly informed the candidate, he said. On Prashant Bhushan and Shanti BhushanKejriwal said, “The Bhushans said that we should lose the Delhi elections, only then can the party and Kejriwal learn a lesson. If you don’t do this then we will go before the press and destroy the party. We pleaded Prashant and Shanti Bhushan to not do that,” he said. Lashing out at Shanti Bhushan for giving interviews critical of Kejriwal just before the Delhi polls, Kejriwal said many donors were discouraged from donating and volunteers stopped from campaigning. “Many volunteers wanted to come to Delhi. They were stopped. Many donors were stopped from campaigning. The limit was when our senior leader (Shanti Bhushan) of the party said that Kiran Bedi was his first choice, Ajay Maken was the second choice and Kejriwal is the third choice. I want to know then why are you into this party?” he asked.Party funding and AVAMKejriwal spoke about the volunteer/breakaway group AVAM which had alleged that AAP had received ‘dubious funding’. Hinting at conspiracy again, he said that the same group turned out to be a bunch of ex-BJP volunteers.”Conspiracies were hatched to ensure our defeat in the Delhi polls. AVAM was formed and it was supported. It then came in the media that AVAM members were former BJP members and BJP was funding them.”On the controversy over candidate selectionKejriwal said that questions were raised on the AAP Delhi election candidates even after only those cleared by Lokpal were given tickets. “The Lokpal investigated all our candidates and rejected two out of the twelve. Despite this, our own colleagues ran a campaign against these candidates,” he said.On the ends and means of victoryKejriwal said that for him, victory in the polls mattered as long as it was done through honest means.”Some people say victory or loss doesn’t matter, but I don’t believe in that kind of politics. There are 1350 political parties across the nation, does anyone know about them? People know AAP because we have won. We are here to win. We will win but through honest means.””Let those who play politics of defeat go ahead and those who want to play politics of victory, join me,” he said.Debacle post Lok Sabha election lossPost AAP’s poor performance at the Lok Sabha, Kejriwal implied in his speech that Bhushan and Yadav wanted him removed as the National Convener. The Delhi CM said that he was broken after AAP lost the Lok Sabha elections since he was attacked by his own party members, “After the Lok Sabha elections, my own people attacked me. People attacked my personality, my leadership, my efficiency.” He said he had contemplated quitting politics at a National level meeting post the elections. “I said I can fight with Narendra Modi, Nitin Gadkari, Salman Khurshid, Robert Vadra, but I did not come to fight with Yadav and Bhushan. I decided the next morning that I will quit.” But he decided to stay after being pleaded by Yadav and Bhushan, he said.Future of the partyKejriwal asked Aam Aadmi Party members at the National Council to choose between him and dissenters Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav before the voting for the proposal for expelling them from the National Executive began.”Take this party, but do not kill it. I am not here to fight with these people. My fight is with corruption and communal forces. I am not here to fight with Prashant ji and Yogendra ji. I have conceded defeat. You people have won. I am here to put an end to this war. You have to decide today. Since last one year, every NE and PAC has seen fights and arguments. You have to decide on whom do you want to choose. Either choose me or them,” he said.Watch the whole speech here:AAP has been embroiled in internal strife soon after it romped home with a thumping majority in the Delhi Assembly polls, winning 67 of the 70 seats.
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