Purge continues in AAP, Parliamentary party leader sacked
Continuing its attack on the rebels, the AAP today removed its parliamentary party leader Dharamvira Gandhi while one of its top leaders Ashish Khetan hit back at lawyers Shanti Bhushan and his son Prashant, accusing them of making an "industry" of PILs and building an empire out of it.
A day after expelling Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav and two others, the party replaced Gandhi with Arvind Kejriwal loyalist and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann as the leader of the four-member group in the Lok Sabha.
"Dissidence cannot be suppressed and here lies everything. You cannot expect Gandhi to sit back and not talk against what (wrong) is happening in the party," Gandhi said.
Later, senior leaders held a press conference to defend the actions taken against the rebels and to back Khetan, against whom Prashant Bhushan levelled a charge of indulging in paid news in favour of a corporate.
Attacking Bhushans, Khetan questioned how the father-son duo build their assets and dared them to prove the charges.
"I am not going to spare the Bhushan family. Either they prove their honesty or my dishonesty," Khetan said while accusing the Bhushans of acquiring huge assets dishonestly.
"Those who take government land everywhere, capture houses...how can they call others corrupt. How did Bhushans build the empire...by making an industry of PILs. If they give evidence that I accepted money for writing a news item, then I will quit politics. If they cannot prove it, then they should quit public life," Khetan told reporters in the morning.
Responding to Khetan's challenge, Shanti Bhushan dared him to expose them.
"Let him expose us. He will get exposed. Our family is the most honest family in the country. No one can question our integrity. Neither Prashant Bhushan nor my integrity," Shanti Bhushan said.
Launching an attack on AAP for expelling the rebels, Shanti Bhushan, once addressed as AAP's patron, also compared Kejriwal with Adolf Hitler while his son termed the party as a 'khap-panchyat'-- referring it to the kangaroo courts that dispense justice in Haryana.
"It's not AAP, but a khap panchayat. The khap panchayat has a dictator (Kejriwal) and the panchayat members work as per his order and do his buttering," Prashant said.
While Yadav said that he would strive to create a "new model" and connect with the people in an effort to keep the spirit of the movement "alive".
Yadav also sought an apology from the Arvind Kejriwal-led party for running a campaign and charging him with working to defeat AAP in the elections and conspiring to unseat Kejriwal from the National Convenor's post.
"For two months you run a vicious campaign against me saying I wanted the party to lose the elections and conspired to become the National Convenor. And when it comes to disciplinary committee and formal inquiry you just drop those charges and come up with another complaint with 12 new items.
"The old charges are mentioned towards the end of the letter. So someone does owe us an apology," he said.