NEW DELHI — The public fight between former Aam Aadmi Party leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav with other party members turned uglier on Tuesday with allegations running thick and fast between the expelled leaders and their former party colleagues.
While Bhushan said that Khetan had planted stories for Essar in Tehelka magazine, where he used to work, the latter retorted that the Bhushans had "built a Rs 500-700 crore" business on public interest litigations. He dared the Bhushans to prove the allegations made against him, saying that he would quit public life it the charges were proven to be true. He also said that the Bhushans should exit from politics if they were found to be wrong.
Meanwhile another of the party's founder members, Shanti Bhushan, on Tuesday said nobody can question his integrity and added that his family was the most honest family in the country.
"Our family is the most honest family in the country. I challenge anybody to challenge this. Nobody can question our integrity, neither Prashant's integrity nor mine," Bhushan said.
"We don't have to go to court because our integrity is well established everywhere in the country. Everyone believes in our integrity," he added.
Meanwhile following the expulsion of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, the founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party, the duo hit back at the AAP leadership in dramatically different ways, even as their core sentiments of disillusionment and anger seemed to remain similar.
While Bhushan called AAP a Khap Panchayat, Yadav said he felt a "sense of calm" following the expulsion.
"AAP has become a Khap Panchayat, there is a Tanashah (Dictator), and everybody follows him," Bhushan said on Tuesday.
Bhushan appeared frustrated with the expulsion decision. "In our reply we had mentioned that whatever we had done we did to save the party, to save its spirit. Finally, after our expulsion, all this Aam Aadmi Party drama has ended," he said.
Meanwhile, Yadav said on Tuesday that the expulsion had given him peace and that it would not strengthen his resolve to move forward in a constructive manner.
"When you receive an order like this, all kinds of emotions pass through you. There is obviously some degree of anger, how come now... midnight, who are they, is this right? That gives a way to sense of longing from the house which you have been thrown out of, what you left, what you miss. But by now, what I have, is some sense of peace perhaps... say all right whoever lives there let them keep there in good order, let the spirit of the movement be maintained," Yadav told ANI.
"As far as I am concerned, as far as my other colleagues are concerned something like this only strengthens my resolve. We need to move forward. Some people need to retain the original spirit of the movement with which we started. Or else, no one would be left with any faith in alternative politics," he added.
While Bhushan said that it was "against natural justice" to have those who complained against the duo to also judge whether Bhushan and Yadav should stay within the party folds. He was referring to Pankaj Gupta and Ashish Khetan, who he said also had serious charges against them.
Yadav also lashed out at Pankaj Gupta and Ashish Khetan for becoming the judges as on the first hand they were the complainants.
"One is how come two persons who themselves are a party to the dispute who are the ones who had complained against us, who had accused us, how come they are judges? Does it conform to the spirit of natural justice?" Yadav asked.
"Second, for two months there have been allegations that I tried to defeat the party I was conspiring to become the national convener and when it comes to a formal chargesheet these two allegations are missing," he added.
The duo received both jeers and sympathy from others.
The ideologues of party who were backbone of party hv been thrown out even without a reasonable hearing: Shazia Ilmi pic.twitter.com/C3pFIFUHbG— ANI (@ANI_news) April 21, 2015
Snr leaders who've worked hard fr party(AAP)hv been shown the way out fr raising voice of dissent:Satish Upadhyay,BJP pic.twitter.com/qLQ3Z9H2SO— ANI (@ANI_news) April 21, 2015
Yogendra Yadav 'India against corruption' movement mein the bhi nhi,wo to TV par uss andolan ki dhajjiyaan udaa rhe the: Naveen Jaihind,AAP— ANI (@ANI_news) April 21, 2015
I have requested a meeting with Prashant Bhushan to give him my book-The Crown Prince,The Gladiator & The Hope-Battle for Change.Waiting !!— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) April 21, 2015
The AAP national disciplinary committee on Monday expelled Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha for 'gross indiscipline' and 'anti-party activities'.
Comprising of Pankaj Gupta, Ashish Khetan and Dinesh Vaghela, the disciplinary committee met at 6 pm at 514, VP House and reached a unanimous decision to expel the four party rebels.
"The AAP disciplinary committee has expelled Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, Professor Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha from the party," Pankaj Gupta told ANI.
(with agency inputs)