Hardly weeks after coming to power with an impressive win in New Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have been finding itself in troubled waters with problems that are very familiar to those faced by other parties, mainly infighting, especially among the key people in the party.
In the National Executive Meeting held on March 4th, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were removed from the Political Affairs Committee of the party. Arvind Kejriwal did not attend the meeting as he was away in Bangalore for treatment. There is now clamour within a section of the party that Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan be removed from the primary membership of the party claiming that they were talking to journalists and media off the record against Kejriwal and were engaged in anti-party activities. The following developments clearly expose the rift within the party:-
1. Party Leader Dilip Pandey filed a complaint with the party’s Disciplinary Committee against Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan claiming that the two had sought to replace Arvind Kejriwal as the party convenor.
2. The letter also alleged that the two had helped the AVAM – the AAP Volunteers Action Manch – during the election campaigning. AVAM had alleged that AAP had received funding from dubious sources.
3. Yogendra Yadav made light of these complaints in his Facebook page saying that they were stories being planted by conspirators and rejected any rift within the party.
4. Bhushan and Yadav had written a letter to members of the National Executive Committee that members were not being heard and were being silenced when they complained about the candidates chosen. The party was being run on a person centric basis as against the principles professed by the party.
5. Bhushan dismissed any claim for his desire for a party post and Yadav tweeted that petty politics would not come in the way of a greater purpose.
6. Yadav and Bhushan had written a letter expressing concern over the way some members of the party functioned during the campaign for the Delhi elections.
7. The AAP Political Affairs Committee (PAC) member Sanjay Singh tweeted that Yadav and Bhushan were not getting what the average worker was feeling when they suggested the removal of Kejriwal.
8. Kejriwal himself decided to resign from the post of the national convenor, but this was rejected by the party and this has given him the freedom to choose the Political Affairs Committee members, and thereby excluded Bhushan and Yadav from the decision making progress.
9. AAP member, Ashutosh tweeted that the churning within the AAP is not on account of a clash of personalities, but a clash of ideas and this would give further political direction to the party.
10. AAP’s internal LokPal Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdass has questioned the absence of a woman in the Delhi Cabinet, pointing out that at least the portfolio of Women and Child Welfare could be handled by a woman, especially given the fact that it was given to Rakhi Bidlan in the first AAP government.
According to the latest news and media reports, all the MLAs in AAP have decided to sign a petition demanding the ouster of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.