Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan during a press conference in Gurgaon on April 10, 2014.IANS File

Aam Aadmi Party's relentless attack against Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan continued on Tuesday with the party's top brass launching a secret 'signature drive'. Seeking the duo's removal, 67 of AAP's MLAs have been asked to sign 'voluntarily' on a two-page letter addressed to 'Arvind Kejriwal, National Convener, Aam Aadmi Party'.

Indulging in 'anti-party activities', 'making adverse statements in the media' and 'conspiracy to tarnish the image of Arvind Kejriwal and remove him' are among the charges which have been included in the letter, which was drafted in Hindi.

According to reports, the MLAs have been asked by the party leadership to put their signatures on a "blank sheet" attached to the letter, reports Firstpost.

Choosing to remain anonymous, four AAP MLAs said that they were being forced by senior leaders to sign the two-page letter intended to build a strong enough case for the removal of Bhushan and Yadav from the party.

Sources said that around 2 pm on 9 March, the MLAs visited the chamber of AAP's chief strategist Ashish Talwar in Delhi Secretariat, where they were given the two-page draft addressed to Kejriwal.

"We were asked to sign on a blank sheet, which was appended with the two-page draft in Hindi, addressed to 'Arvind Kejriwal, National Convener, Aam Aadmi Party'. The letter mentioned the anti-party activities of Bhushan and Yadav and that the MLAs want them to be expelled," said one of the MLAs.

Commenting on the objective of the signature campaign another party MLA said, "The aim of this signature campaign is to build a background prior to the National Council meeting scheduled to be held on 28 March; so that a motion could be brought against them that would justify the decision taken against these two leaders. Probably, the leadership wants the National Council (NC) to endorse the decision of the National Executive (NE). In fact, the right move would have been that the NC should have endorsed it and asked the NE to take it up."

Giving his point of view, the third MLA said, "It's a major problem of personalities. More than Yogendra ji, it's Prashant Bhushan who made several statements during Delhi election – most of it has appeared in the media. Probably, due to this, the party has decided to expel both of them. The party leadership feels that despite getting such a huge mandate, this kind of anti-party behaviour would tarnish the image of AAP both in Delhi and outside. It'll also impact AAP prospect (sic) in Punjab and Bihar polls,"

Meanwhile, reacting to the controversy surrounding himself and Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav tweeted: "I welcome the statement by 4 colleagues. Begins the possibility of open, transparent dialogue. Truth shall prevail." Yadav added that he hopes his response on the statement will be duly publicised by the party media. "Hope this statement ends all slander, planting of allegations. Hope no more coercion of party functionaries and Delhi MLAs on this issue."