21/04/2015 6:09 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

AAP Break Up: Party Leaders Say Dissidents Had No Respect For Institutions

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a gathering after launching an anti-corruption helpline in New Delhi, India, Sunday, April 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

NEW DELHI — The AAP today hit back at expelled leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav for attacking the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC), saying the dissidents had no respect for procedures and institutions.

The party also sought to defend its decision of sacking the dissidents, saying they had involved in acts, which were "harmful" for the party.

AAP's national secretary Pankaj Gupta said the responses by Yadav, Bhushan and Anand Kumar, were analysed and examined by the NDC after which the party sacked them.

The party too came out strongly in support of former journalist Ashish Khetan after Bhushan accused him of doing a "planted" story that benefited a private firm.

"We gave them two days to respond to the notice and received responses from all, but Ajit Jha. We examined their response and found that the complaints, evidences were anti-party and harmful for the party. This is why they were sacked from the party," Gupta said.

Bhushan and Yadav had questioned the presence of Gupta and Khetan in the disciplinary panel. They said both had launched attacks against the rebel leaders and that "complainants" cannot be "judges".

Responding to a question on whether the move to sack the rebel leaders was pre-mediated, Gupta said, "If Yogendra Yadav was so convinced that the move to remove him and Prashant Bhushan was pre-mediated then he should not have indulged in such activities," Gupta said.

Strongly defending Khetan, Ashustosh said the two leaders spoke about procedures and institutions, but never had respect for them.

"They have disregarded every institution in the party. They insulted the Political Affairs Committee, National Executive. Now they are disregarding the disciplinary committee and its members," Ashutosh said.

Meanwhile continuing the purge of dissidents in the party, AAP today sacked its parliamentary party leader Dharamvira Gandhi, who had spoken against expulsion of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the National Executive and replaced him with Arvind Kejriwal loyalist Bhagwant Mann.

Gandhi, who had trounced Preneet Kaur in Patiala constituency in Lok Sabha polls last year, had been highly critical of the party leadership in the way Bhushan and Yadav had been removed from party's top echelons. He had even walked out from the AAP's National Council meeting on March 28 in protest and had sent his message to Swaraj Samvad Convention on April 14, organised by the rebel camp.

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