After removing senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from decision-making bodies of the party, the AAP on Tuesday removed the two from its spokespersons’ list as well.
Apart from the two leaders, spokesperson Atishi Marlena, Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia have been removed from the list.
While Yadav is the only AAP leader to have held the position of chief spokesperson, the decision to remove him from the post can be seen as a precursor to his and Bhushan’s probable expulsion from the party.
Following the removal of Bhushan from the party’s national disciplinary committee on Sunday and the body’s re-constitution, the committee is likely to take action against the two leaders in the next few days, AAP sources said.
The list of 20 features AAP leaders from across the country and also some Delhi MLAs. Speaking about the exclusion of some leaders from the list, an AAP source said, “Since Sisodia and Rai are now in the Delhi government and they want to focus on government work, there was no reason for giving them the additional responsibility of being party spokespersons.”
While popular faces of the AAP — Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh and Ashish Khetan — are included in the list, some new faces — from other parts of the country — also feature in the list. These include senior AAP leader from Maharashtra Preeti Sharma Menon, the party’s Madhya Pradesh state secretary Akshay Hunka and Orissa AAP convenor Nishikant Mohapatra.
Among the Delhi MLAs, who will now represent the party in front of the media, are two-time MLA from Greater Kailash Saurabh Bhardwaj, Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba and Karawal Nagar MLA and Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman Kapil Mishra.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.
Mishra was among the AAP MLAs who had written to the party convenor and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanding disciplinary action against Yadav and Bhushan earlier this month.
The letter, signed by 56 of the party’s 67 MLAs, had alleged that Bhushan and Yadav had made attempts to ensure that the AAP did not win the Delhi Assembly polls.
Apart from MLAs, Punjab MP Bhagwant Mann and senior advocate and AAP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Punjab H S Phoolka will also be AAP’s spokespersons.