Indian AAP sidelines founder members

A supporter of Aam Aadmi Party next to a cut-out of party leader Arvind Kejriwal February 14 Image copyright AP
Image caption Arvind Kejriwal's popularity helped propel his party to a landslide poll victory

Indian anti-corruption party AAP has sidelined two of its founder members after feuding and infighting following its victory in Delhi's state election.

Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were dropped from the party's main decision-making committee after criticising AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.

Mr Kejriwal had offered to quit to focus on his Delhi chief minister role, but the party rejected his resignation.

The AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) won 67 of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly last month.

Mr Kejriwal, a former tax inspector who reinvented himself as a corruption buster, was instrumental in the party's victory.

He promised to bring in good governance, end corruption and make Delhi safe for women.

But since the victory, the party has suffered from infighting, reportedly between Kejriwal supporters and more left-leaning factions.

'One-man show'

After a series of leaks and media reports about the feuding, Mr Kejriwal tweeted: "I am deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party. This is betrayal of trust that Delhi posed in us."

He added: "I refuse to be drawn in this ugly battle. Will concentrate only on Delhi's governance."

He offered to resign from his post as party convenor last week and his aides said before Wednesday's party meeting that the offer was still on the table.

The party rejected his mooted resignation, and commentators were divided over whether it was a genuine offer or part of a political tactic.

Instead, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were both ousted from their positions in the political affairs committee.

The pair, who are seen as leftists, have been at loggerheads with Mr Kejriwal over his leadership style.

Mr Bhushan told NDTV earlier that the party was at risk of becoming a "one-man show" and admitted there had been a "breakdown of communication" with Mr Kejriwal.

After the meeting, they both confirmed that they had lost their posts on the committee.

While Mr Yadav said he would continue to work for the party, Mr Bhushan said he would not be a member of the committee "for the time being".

Mr Kejriwal did not attend the party meeting, instead taking a 10-day break in Bangalore for treatment for diabetes and a persistent cough.

Related Topics

More on this story