New Delhi, March 29: In the throes of interl strife, Delhi’s ruling AAP on Sunday replaced its Lokpal, retired Admiral L Ramdas, with a team of three ombudsmen, who include two former police officers.
A day after it sacked dissident leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, Aam Aadmi Party leaders who met at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence also set up a new discipliry committee and a panel to study the party’s state of affairs in various states.
The AAP also decided to lay siege to parliament on April 22 to protest against the land acquisition bill.
Simultaneously, the AAP on Sunday released the entire transcript of Kejriwal’s speech at its tiol Executive meet on Saturday that led to the sacking of Yadav and Bhushan from the top body — and resulted in their calling the chief minister an autocrat.
Bhushan and Yadav, who are co-founders of the AAP along with Kejriwal, have pledged to approach the Supreme Court and the Election Commission against their sacking.
But the AAP sought to underline on Sunday that Ramdas, a former chief of the Indian vy, was not removed or sacked but his term had ended. “A new Lokpal committee has been constituted. The tenure of Ramdas was over, so a new Lokpal had to be appointed. It should not be considered he was removed or sacked,” party leader Sanjay Singh told reporters.
Ramdas, however, said he was surprised to hear from the media that the AAP no longer required his services.
“I am disappointed that the leadership of the party did not accord me the courtesy of informing me first before making this decision public. I still await their phone call,” he said in a statement.
“I am surprised because less than two weeks ago, the party publicly reaffirmed its confidence in me. At no point in my tenure did the party express to me any dissatisfaction with my service.”
The new Lokpal panel will include retired police officers N Dilip Kumar, formerly of Delhi Police, and Rakesh Sinha, a former deputy inspector general in the Central Industrial Security Force, as well as educationist SP Verma.
A new discipliry committee was constituted, replacing Bhushan with Ashish Khetan, a former jourlist and a Kejriwal loyalist.
Dinesh Vaghela, a social activist, was med the team’s new head while Pankaj Gupta would be its third member.
Pankaj Gupta said the committee to study the potential of the AAP in various states would be headed by Sanjay Singh. IANS