New Delhi: AAP dissident leader Prashant Bhushan on Monday targeted the party’s general secretary Pankaj Gupta by accusing him of accepting Rs.2 crore donation from shell companies without the approval of the party’s top decision-making panel.
Replying to Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) show cause notice for holding “anti-party” meeting in Gurgaon last week, Bhushan reiterated that the AAP’s actions were reminiscent of Stalinist purges, where in the early years after the Soviet Revolution Stalin’s acolytes were both the accusers and judges of the dissidents both in the party and the government.
He charged another leader, Ashish Khetan, with writing a planted story in a national magazine defending a telecom company, allegedly involved in 2G spectrum scam.
“You (Gupta) know that there have been serious charges against you, including the acceptance of donation of Rs.2 crore from shell companies, without taking the approval of the PAC as required by the party’s rule,” Bhushan said in his reply addressed to Gupta.
“Ashish Khetan, a member of the disciplinary committee, has been accused of writing (as a journalist) a planted story in a national magazine in defence of the Essar company, which was charge sheeted by CBI in the 2G case,” he said in the response to the show-cause notice.
The Aam Aadmi Party was quick to reject the charges as “baseless”.
“These allegations are baseless. The rebels have disrespected the Political Affairs Committee and the National Executive of the party. Disciplinary Committee will take any action against the rebels. They were asked to reply to the party but they are answering to the media,” AAP’s spokesperson Ashutosh said.
In his four-page reply, Bhushan lamented that while these matters should have been referred to AAP Lokpal Admiral Ramdas but he himself was removed from the post.
The party recently issued a showcause notice to Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav for holding anti-party meeting in Gurgaon last week. The duo was expelled from the AAP’s key decision–making bodies for “sabotaging the party”.
Bhushan said that “expressing a different opinion cannot be treated as a violation of the code of conduct”.
“Mere expression of a difference of opinion should not be considered as violation of the code of conduct unless it violates the objectives of the party. You now want to become judges of your own cause,” he said.
“It is indeed remarkable and ironic that you along with Ashish Khetan and Dinesh Vaghela have sent this notice to us, styling yourself as the ‘National Disciplinary Committee’. I am not aware as to who has constituted this as the National Disciplinary Committee and when and how this was done,” he wrote.