Expelled Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan today launched a new political outfit 'Swaraj India' and declared it will contest Delhi civic polls but will skip Punjab election scheduled next year. Mr Yadav will be the president and Ajit Jha the general secretary, the new party announced in New Delhi. Fahim Khan will be the party's treasurer.
Mr Yadav, then, launched Swaraj Abhiyan, which worked at the grass-roots level but had so far stayed away from electoral politics. Lashing out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for "betraying the aam aadmi", Yadav, who will head the new party, said it would offer "alternative politics" and not resort to "cult politics".
"Now that we are a political party, it is not that we will contest every election. Politics in Punjab is very fluid and the need of the hour is to defeat the Badal government, which is the most hated organisation in the country. We will support (suspended AAP MP) Dharamvira Gandhi, who has already announced a front. We will be contesting the MCD polls," Mr Yadav said.
Mr Bhushan said Swaraj India will not only bring itself under the ambit of RTI, but it will also not use party whip on MLAs and MPs and restrict it to no-confidence motion. "Our members will have the freedom to express their opinion contrary to the one shared by the party, which doesn't exist in other parties," he said.
In April last year, the AAP expelled senior leaders Mr Bhushan and Mr Yadav for allegedly indulging in anti-party activities. The decision to sack them from the party was taken by the AAP's National Disciplinary Committee. The duo co-founded then Swaraj Abhiyan, a socio-political body, to 'take forward the anti-corruption movement.' Swaraj Abhiyan has been campaigning on varied issues, ranging from agrarian crisis to corruption.