The executive committee of Aam Aadmi Party's Maharashtra unit today met in Pune and expressed solidarity in the leadership of its national convener Arvind Kejriwal, making a U-turn from its earlier position, a party source said.
Committee members also reprimanded those who attended the Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav-led 'Swaraj Samvad' rally on April 14 this month in Gurgaon, Haryana, the source said. The meeting was convened by AAP convener and head of its Maharashtra unit Subhash Ware, who had earlier termed the ouster of four dissident AAP leaders as "unfortunate".
"The agenda of today's meeting was to discuss Shetkari Samvad Yatra (farmer's interaction journey) and start an anti-corruption helpline in the other districts," Ware said, declining to comment further. The meeting was attended by 11 out of 15 members and lasted for five to six hours.
Interestingly, Mayank Gandhi, an AAP dissident did not attend today's meeting. However, another AAP member who attended the meeting said on condition of anonymity that all members who attended today's meeting were very specific that those who support the Bhushan-Yadav camp should not hold official positions within the party.
"If you do not stop upholding Prashant Bhushan or Yogendra Yadav's line, it will be considered anti-party activity," another AAP member said. "Hence we unanimously passed a resolution that Maruti Bhapkar, member of the AAP state executive committee should not be in the committee and take part in the meeting," the member said.
Maruti Bhapkar described this exercise as futile and said, "I will work for AAP as a primary member and will serve Bhushan-Yadav's line of Swaraj as well". "If AAP's Maharashtra unit feels that it is an anti-party activity, then it is free to expel me from the party," Bhapkar said.
Incidentally, Bhapkar had attended the 'Swaraj Samvad' rally on April 14 in Gurgaon, and said that Arvind Kejriwal as well as his men have "trampled upon" the basics of "Swaraj" within the party. Calling the ouster of four father figures of AAP as killing of internal democracy within the party, Manav Kamble, another AAP state executive member put in his papers yesterday.
AAP Maharashtra state executive committee member Ravi Shrivastav, "Today's meeting gave a clear signal that senior party members have full faith in Arvind Kejriwal's leadership".