India

Indian AAP expels founder members

Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan Image copyright Press trust of india
Image caption Mr Yadav (left) and Mr Bhushan (right) were founder members of the party

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

Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were removed for "gross indiscipline and anti-party activities", the party said in a statement.

The party also expelled senior members Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha.

The AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) staged a spectacular victory in the Delhi assembly in February.

Led by Arvind Kejriwal, a former tax inspector who reinvented himself as a corruption buster, the party won 67 of the 70 assembly seats in India's capital in what was a huge setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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

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

The decision to sack the rebels was taken late on Monday night after the party said it was not satisfied with the explanations they had given about their "anti-party activities".

A statement by the party said it had "carefully considered" their responses but found them "unsatisfactory", accusing them of "gross indiscipline and anti-party activities".

Mr Yadav said he was upset by the decision.

"I am not surprised as from the past few days the matter was moving in such direction. Though I also cannot deny the fact that I am hurt by it. How would you feel if someone drags and throws you out of your own house?" he told reporters.

It is not clear whether the rebels will now form a new party.

Mr Yadav and Mr Bhushan had been earlier dropped from the party's main decision-making committee after criticising Mr Kejriwal.

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

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

The AAP - whose party symbol is a broom - was born out of a strong anti-corruption movement that swept India two years ago.

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