New Delhi: When the whole Delhi was with the Aam Aadmi Party, some “friends backstabbed” us, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told yesterday’s National Council meeting which removed dissident leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from the National Executive for “anti-party activities”. As per an edited video of his speech released by AAP today, Kejriwal launched an all-out attack on Bhushan and Yadav and accused them of trying to realise their personal ambitions under the garb of raising issues of “principles”, and in the process weaken the party.
In an emotional speech, Kejriwal said, “When the whole 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.” “Conspiracies were hatched to ensure our defeat in the Delhi polls. AVAM (a breakway group) was formed and it was supported. It then came in the media that AVAM members were former BJP members and BJP was funding them.
“Prashant ji told many people that we think the party should lose then only 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,” Kejriwal said. Targeting Yadav, Kejriwal said 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. 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.
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. “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.”
“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