New Delhi: Kumar Vishwas on Sunday said the AAP was holding discussions with those who left the party, including Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, to facilitate their return.
The controversial remarks, however, were refuted by a party leader close to Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Admi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal.
“If no one has joined a political party and wants to come here… if one has formed a political party and wants to merge their party with ours… if someone went back for doing social work after being unhappy with us… the list is long. From Subhash Ware to Anjali Damania, Mayank Gandhi, Dharamvira Gandhi to Prashant ji and Yogendra ji. We are synchronising the list (of such people),” Kumar said after an interaction with party volunteers at the AAP office in New Delhi.
“Dialogues are being held with them by volunteers. We will ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we did.”
AAP founder members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were sacked by the party in April 2015 for “anti-party” activities after they questioned party supremo Arvind Kejriwal’s style of functioning.
Subhash Ware, on the other hand, was the party head of Maharashtra state unit, and was considered close to Yadav and Bhushan. Although, Ware continues to be a part of the party, the state unit headed by him was disbanded.
Ware, along with Mayank Gandhi, had opposed dropping of Bhushan and Yadav from the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC). Gandhi later quit the party.
Dharamvira Gandhi, AAP MP from Patiala, was also suspended for alleged anti-party activities. Ms Damania also quit citing the ugly slugfest between Kejriwal and Yadav-Bhushan.
Nevertheless, Swaraj India, the political party formed by Yadav and Bhushan, dismissed Vishwas’ claims and said those who drifted away from AAP’s ideals were now appealing the activists of the Anna movement to return to the fold.
“Instead of appealing others to come back, they (AAP led by Kejriwal) should come back on the right path,” Swaraj India chief spokesperson Anupam said.
Vishwas, who is believed to be “unhappy” with the present coterie around Kejriwal, also spoke about ‘Aam Aadmi Party version 2’.
When asked to elaborate, the AAP leader said, “The second version (of the party) will focus on giving more priority to volunteers, who will act as ‘anti-virus’ in the outfit”.
Vishwas’ meeting with party volunteers comes a week after his announcement at the Ram Lila Maidan in Delhi when he said he would be interacting with the party cadre more often.
Speaking at the party’s fifth anniversary last week, the AAP leader had lamented that the party had drifted away from its core principles and needed “course correction”.
Attacking a section of AAP leaders, he had likened himself to ‘Abhimanyu’, the warrior son of Arjun in Mahabharat, and claimed that he would be victorious even in his death.
Vishwas is also considered one of the strong contenders for three Rajya sabha seats of Delhi, elections for which will be held in January next year.
Party sources said Vishwas was also upset that the AAP was “overlooking” him in the case.