Assault, attack and bouncers

The National Council meeting after removal of YY and Prashant from PAC

“I entered the gates. I was asked to hand over my pen, mobile phone, etc, at a counter. Considering that we had had multiple episodes of news leaks, I found these precautions justifiable. As I turned around, I saw Arvind coming towards me. I waved at him and smiled. He frowned in response and turned away. It was churlish. I remembered his body language and the words he had chosen when he had criticized Prashant a while ago; I was almost certain that I would be relegated to the same category.

Meanwhile, as I walked in, I saw senior volunteers of the party whisking away NC members into a room to sign a predesigned resolution seeking the removal of Yogendra and Prashant. My views were out in the open, so no one asked me to sign the resolution. There were bouncers everywhere. As I settled into my chair, four bouncers stood around me. When I went to the washroom, two of them traipsed behind. I was amused that the party was taking such care of me.

Arvind came and spoke with great gusto, pointing out that Yogendra and Prashant had betrayed the party. Then, looking at Shanti Bhushan, he changed his pitch and tone; he was rude and angry. He asked NE members what ought to be done to someone who chose Kiran Bedi over the party—referring to a moment in time when Shanti Bhushan had announced that Bedi would make a good chief ministerial candidate. In what seemed like a pre-rehearsed move, some workers, led by Kapil Mishra, ran towards Shanti Bhushan shouting, ‘Gaddaro ko hatao’—remove the traitors! For a moment I grew nervous. It seemed like things would go out of hand and a ninety-year-old Shanti Bhushan would get physically assaulted. 

Fortunately, things calmed down, and Arvind continued his emotionally charged speech. He ended his rabble- rousing outpouring by narrating the story of two women who were fighting over a child. ‘The women took the child to the king and asked him to decide who the mother was. The king mulled over the situation and said that the child could be cut into two, and each woman could keep one half. On hearing this, the real mother said that the other woman could keep the child.’

Arvind thundered, ‘I have given my sweat and blood to this party and will not allow its break up. Either get rid of Yogendra and Prashant or release me from all responsibilities and positions within the party.’

After this, in what had become his customary melodramatic style, he walked out of the meeting. This was exactly the way I had anticipated the NC meeting going. No decorum, no rules, just bullying.

As Arvind walked out, AAP member Ramzan Chaudhary tried asking him why, as the leader, he wouldn’t stay back and listen to the volunteers. Arvind brushed him away and stomped off. In front of my eyes, some bouncers drew forward, caught Ramzan by his legs and hands, and carried him out of the meeting. It was alleged that he was punched outside.

A resolution to remove Yogendra, Prashant, Prof Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha from the NC was read out. It was also announced that the resolution was backed by 247 members (with fifty-four abstaining and eight being against it). The irony didn’t miss me—a resolution had been signed before it was even read out.

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Article by deepak

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