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AAP removes Bhushan from disciplinary panel, replaces Ramdas as Lokpal

 
AAP removes Bhushan from disciplinary panel
In its continuing drive against dissidence, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today removed its founding leader Prashant Bhushan from its disciplinary committee even as it named a new internal Lokpal in place of former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (Retd.) L Ramdas.
 
At a meeting of its national executive (NE) here, the party reconstituted its Lokpal panel, saying the term of the rpevious panel headed by Admiral Ramdas had ended.
 
The new Lokpal panel comprises former Indian Police Service (IPS) oficer N. Dilip Kumar, former Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Deputy Inspector General Rakesh Sinha and educationist S P Verma.
 
The party's reconstituted three-member national disciplinary committee will now be headed by Mr Dinesh Waghela and include Mr Pankaj Gupta and Mr Ashish Khetan.
 
The latest moves came a day after the party's National Council had yesterday, amidst acrimonious scenes, removed Mr Bhushan, Mr Yogendra Yadav, Prof Anand Kumar and Mr Ajit Jha from its National Executive for alleged anti-party activities.
 
Admiral Ramdas said he was greatly surpised and saddened tohear from a journalist that the party no longer required his services as its internal Lokpal.
 
"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.  Neither did its leaders question my neutrality or my objectivity in this position. As recently as January 2015, I was asked to investigate complaints against potential electoral candidates. I took it as a sign of the party's confidence in me when on February 15th, at an informal meeting at the home of Mr Kejriwal, in the presence of many other senior leaders of the party, including members of the executive committee, I was actually requested to consider serving an additional five years as Lokpal.
 
"I am, however, more sad than surprised. It was with a sense of excitement and hope that I became part of this movement to bring a new kind of politics to India.  I believed in the ideals of transparency, accountability and fairness that was encapsulated in the institution of the Lokpal. And, I was honoured to be the first person to serve in this capacity," he said.
 
Admiral Ramdas said he had tried to discharge his duties and responsibilities to the best of his abilities. 
 
"My two previous letters, one which became public, the other which was intended to be public, reflected my effort to encourage the various leaders of the party to work together to remember the principles on which it was founded and to make sure that the promises made to the electorate - to the people- were fulfilled. Unfortunately I did not succeed in that effort.
 
"I still hope that the party which has fired the imagination and hopes of so many Indians will be able to fulfill its promises of good governance, both internally and externally, in the exercise of political power in its new capacity as the government of Delhi. I wish them well in this endeavour," he added.
 
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