Medha Patkar Quits AAP, Condemns Insult to Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav

Medha Patkar today quit AAP over “humiliation” of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan

MUMBAI:  Activist Medha Patkar today quit the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) condemning the ugly infighting that saw two founder members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan being voted out of a key panel for challenging chief Arvind Kejriwal.”We didn’t expect this from AAP.  Senior leaders were insulted today and we condemn it,” Ms Patkar said, coming out in Mr Yadav and Mr Bhushan’s support.

“Mr Kejriwal does have some qualities. He should not have left an agitation and gone into politics. For us, there is no meaning in staying on in the party,” added the 60-year-old activist known for the Narmada Bachao Andolan to protect displaced villagers.

Mr Yadav and Mr Bhushan were dropped from the party’s national executive at a controversial meeting held on the outskirts of Delhi. They alleged that their supporters were beaten up and thrown out by bouncers and the voting was “murder of democracy.”

Ms Patkar said she and many others who had joined the party expecting a different kind of politics felt let down.

“What has happened in the last few months is what is seen in other parties,” she said.

“Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav have contributed so much to the party. I have not known of any instance where they have been involved in anti-party activities. Mr Bhushan’s Public Interest Litigations have helped in the fight against corruption. Mr Yadav is not just a spokesperson; he contributed to the ideology.”

But Ms Patkar added that she did not want to target Mr Kejriwal and his team.

The infighting has hit India’s newest party just after it took power in Delhi following a record poll victory.

On Friday, a secretly-taped phone conversation was leaked, in which Mr Kejriwal was heard abusing Mr Bhushan and Mr Yadav and saying , “Any other party would have thrown them out.”

Ms Patkar said the sting needs to be verified and added: “I hope the sting is untrue and Kejriwal has not used such language.”