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Expulsion of Yogendra Yadav, Prashat Bhushan from AAP: Was it already decided; will it cause any further damage to the party's image?
AAP has expelled its founding leaders Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha on Monday for anti-party activities, gross indiscipline and violation of code of conduct of the party. This development took place late on Monday night.

AAP's National Disciplinary Committee met on April 20, 2015 in New Delhi and decided on the action to be taken on the four leaders. The decision was taken on the backdrop of the show-cause notice which was issued to Yadav and the three others.

Here's what the press statement from AAP speaks about the expulsion of rebel leaders:

"On the request of the respondents, the Committee had earlier extended the deadline for submitting their explanations by one day, that is, to 3 pm on April 20, 2015.  However the committee received the responses of Mr. Yadav, Mr. Bhushan and Kumar while Mr. Jha failed to furnish his response within the prescribed time.

The Committee carefully considered responses furnished by Mr. Yogendra Yadav, Mr. Prashant Bhushan and Mr. Anand Kumar and found them unsatisfactory.

The Committee reached the unanimous conclusion that Mr. Yogendra Yadav, Mr. Prashant Bhushan and Mr. Anand Kumar had indulged in gross indiscipline and anti-party activities. They have violated the Code of Conduct detailed in Article VI A (a) of Party's Constitution.

The Committee is of the view that Mr. Ajit Jha failed to furnish his response in stipulated time despite sufficient time to his disposal. After examining the evidence put before it, the Committee is of unanimous view that Mr. Ajit Jha is also guilty of gross indiscipline and indulging into anti-party activities.

The Committee, therefore, has decided to expel all the four members from the party."

Reacting on his expulsion from AAP, Yogendra Yadav said he was hurt as it feels like being removed from one's own house. Yadav in a tweet said that he was waiting for a formal expulsion order from the party with reasons meantioned on it.

Another expelled leader Prashant Bhushan while reacting to the reports of his expulsion from AAP said that AAP had become a Khap Panchayat. Bhushan called Arvind Kejriwal a dictator. Shanti Bhushan, father of Prashant Bhushan has compared Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to Hitler, and said that he made a mistake in identifying Kejriwal.

What impression this expulsion of big leaders like Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan going to have on AAP supporters? Is it going to impact them in terms of their support to the party?

Pradip K Dutta, a political science professor at Delhi University, while replying to this question said, "See the damage has already been done to the extent that a fight was going on. It was quite evident that all of them can't stay together. So to that extent I don't think there is anything new in this development. So whatever has happened the damage has happened in terms of moral and so on has already occurred. I don't think there is going to be any further damage in that sense. But now it is to be seen that, how much it is going to affect the new party."

When asked about his views on a popular perception in the political circle that the expulsion of the rebel AAP leaders was set to happen and the show cause notice was just a formality, Dutta said, "I think they were also playing to be expelled and these people were also trying to expel them. So it is a kind of unwritten agreement that they want it to be expelled not resigned."

Bhushan and Yadav were removed from AAP's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) on March 4. The leaders then organised a Swaraj Samvad convention on April 17 in Gurgaon, where they announced starting of Swaraj Abhiyan across the country.

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