Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kumar Vishwas on Sunday said the party was holding discussions with those who left the party, including Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, to facilitate their return to the party fold.
Vishwas said that a list is being drawn of leaders who left the party and talks are on to bring them back to the party fold.
“If no one has joined a political party and wants to come here… if one has formed a political party and wants to merge their party with ours… if someone went back for doing social work after being unhappy with us… the list is long,” he said.
However, the controversial statements were denied by a party leader close to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
From Subhash Ware to Anjali Damania, Mayank Gandhi, Dharamvira Gandhi to Prashant ji and Yogendra ji. We are synchronising the list (of such people),” Mr. Kumar said after an interaction with party volunteers at the AAP office in New Delhi.
“Dialogues are being held with them by volunteers. We will ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we did.”
AAP founder members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were sacked by the party in April 2015 for “anti-party” activities after they questioned party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s style of functioning.
Swaraj India, the political party formed by Mr. Yadav and Bhushan, however, has reportedly dismissed Mr. Vishwas’ claims and said those who drifted away from AAP’s ideas were now appealing the activists of the Anna movement to return to the party.
“Instead of appealing others to come back, they (AAP led by Kejriwal) should come back on the right path,” Swaraj India chief spokesperson Anupam said.
AAP has been going through a rough patch of late, with electoral failures in Delhi civic polls, Goa and Punjab assembly elections among others. Vishwas’ rumored dissatisfaction with the party had also been making the news for a while.
However, if such a reunion is on the cards, it could bring good fortune for the party. With the likes of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, who were among the original team of crusaders led by Kejriwal. And with their return to the fold, the party might be able to regain the confidence of supporters who might have lost faith in the party.