The AAP on Thursday continued its crackdown against backers of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, called a “purge” by the rebel faction, by suspending Rakesh Sinha and Vishal Sharma Lathe, the two National Executive (NE) members who had sided with the rebel leaders.
The two were present at a press conference organised by Bhushan and Yadav after the party’s National Council meeting, where they were removed from that NE amidst allegations of hooliganism. Sinha and Sharma have been suspended from “primary membership of the party pending an inquiry against their actions,” a spokesperson said.
It had also emerged on Wednesday that Sinha, who had also voted against Bhushan and Yadav being removed from the Political Affairs Committee on March 4, had written a letter to the party, asking why he had not been informed or invited to the NE meeting on March 31. It was at this meeting that Admiral Ramdas and Prashant Bhushan were removed as Lokpal and head of the national disciplinary committee of the party.
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Vishal Sharma also wrote a scathing letter in response to his suspension letter written by party national secretary Pankaj Gupta, rejecting his suspension and calling it unconstitutional. Sharma wrote in his letter that he had not been told why he was being suspended, nor given the right to respond to any allegations. “As I am a voting member of the NE, NC member and an active member, it is the Lokpal that has to hear the complaint against me,” he said.
“Rejecting the suspension,” Sharma also said that many NE leaders, including himself, had no knowledge of any such meeting on March 31, and their act to suspend him betrayed bitterness.
In the mail that was sent to notify him of his suspension, Pankaj Gupta wrote, “NE had its meeting on 31st March 2015. Based on the complaint received by National Disciplinary Committee, and its discussion by the members of NE, NE has decided to suspend your primary membership pending disciplinary proceedings.”