Intro: Senior Aam Adami Party (AAP) leaders have admitted that the party is at the risk of becoming a “one man show”. The mistrust is deepening so much that even senior leaders have lost faith in each other. Political analysts feel this is just the beginning of a more ugly battle within the AAP. More dirt is likely to fall out of the AAP cupboards and there could be a lot of muckraking within the party.
AAP received unexpected victory in Delhi banking upon the slogan ‘Paanch Saal Kejriwal’. But now just within three weeks of getting power it proved something different—‘Whole, Sole Kejriwal’.
The party claimed to fight for Janlokpal all through the years but now it refused to accept the recommendations of party’s own internal Lokpal (Admiral Ramdas) and disgracely ousted Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the party’s highest decision making body.
The way another senior leader Mayank Gandhi has revealed the details of the meeting of March 4 on his blog defying Kejriwal’s gag order, it seems the storm is not yet over and some more heads may be claimed in the days to come. The feud is deepening day-by-day and top leaders are finishing each other.
It was bound to happen. People with different backgrounds, thinking and agendas came together during Anna’s anti-corruption movement. Now their egos are clashing. Everybody wants share in power, for which some people are not ready. The party appointed internal Lokpal, but now is not ready to accept its recommendations. The Lokpal recommended ‘one man, one post’ but the top leader Kejriwal himself continues to occupy two posts—CM and convener of the party. He is now gradually ousting all those who helped him becoming Chief Minister.” –Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, senior BJP leader
The feud had basically reached at its peak the same day on February 14 when Arvind Kejriwal took the oath of Chief Minister at Ramlila Ground. He declared that the party has no plan to go out of Delhi in the years to come. But Yogendra Yadav, very next day on February 15, defied Kejriwal claiming that they are going to expand the party in four states in coming 3-5 years. The clash continued to take new turns every day and there have been dramas, backroom intrigues, frantic calls, floor management, allegations, counter-allegations and threats of exposes, stings and leaks to media.
Kejriwal’s resignation from the post of party’s national convener further intensified the battle. He refused to withdraw resignation until both Yadav and Bhushan were thrown out. Fact is that the script of the ‘removal drama’ was written much in advance and it was just staged on March 4. None of the issues raised by Yadav and Bhushan—selection of candidates, sourcing of funds, details of election expenses, one-person-one-post principle—were discussed at the meeting. Prashant Bhushan, after the meeting admitted that the party is at risk of becoming a “one-man show” since there has been a “breakdown of communication” with Kejriwal. Interestingly, Kejriwal did not attend the meeting and he directed the whole play from Bengaluru where he is taking 10-day break for treatment for diabetes and a persistent cough.
The mistrust in the party is deepening so much that even senior leaders have lost faith in each other. Yogendra Yadav’s conversation with The Indian Express reporter—taped by Kejriwal's close aide, Bibhav Kumar who is now personal aide to CM Kejriwal—in which Yadav discussed the schism within the AAP over the plans to contest in Haryana, proves it.
There are reports that Kejriwal camp has conducted several more stings on Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, which may be leaked in the days to come. It means the storm is sure to take more ugly turns. Kejriwal might be seen stronger after this drama, but the storm is not over. Political analysts feel this is just the beginning of a more ugly battle in the AAP. More dirt is likely to fall out of the AAP cupboards and there could be a lot of muckraking within the party. —Pramod Kumar