AAP crisis: As it happened on Monday

Senior AAP leader Somnath Bharti says that the party will mature with the ongoing churning and. 

AAP crisis: As it happened on Monday
  • Senior AAP leader Somnath Bharti tweets:
  • The AAP has come out with a clarification on the rift in the party. Party leader Sanjay Singh addresses a press conference
  • Party won't be able to function smoothly when senior members of party will target Arvind ji and make efforts to defame the party – Sanjay Singh
  • Attempts being made to remove Arvind Kejriwal - Singh
  • If there is anything that emerges from national executive on March 4 we will inform you. The constant leakage of letters written by AAP members has made the party look like a joke - Singh
  • Will discuss the recent turn of events, including the leakage of letters, during the meet – Sanjay Singh
  • AAP leader Ashutosh's tweets confirm the rift within the party. He tweeted:

The differences within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is out in the open with senior party leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan voicing dissent against the manner in which the party is being run by Arvind Kejriwal.

In a letter to the party on Feb 26 - the details of which became public today – Bhushan came down heavily on the party leadership and alleged that AAP was turning into a 'one man party'.

“We said that we would put out all our accounts on a public website. But far from bringing the party under RTI, we haven't even put our accounts on website, we've put donations but not expenses,” Bhushan said.

“We formed more than 30 experts committee two years ago to formulate policies of party. Committee gave reports 18 months ago, but we haven't been able to formalize them as some of us didn't have time,” he said.

“For a national party we claim to be, it's essential that we have a view point on imp issues of policy in country. We haven't empowered committee or decision making system of deciding how funds are to be spent. These decisions need to be taken in a systematic and democratic manner,” he added.

“We don't have regular meetings of National Executive (NE) or Political Affairs Committee (PAC) as required by Constitution. In the infrequent meetings of PAC, some PAC members are often not informed,” Bhushan said.

Slamming the party leadership, Bhushan added, “Our party has been built on idealism and sweat and tears of thousands of volunteers who sacrificed much to create a different party. We owe it to them and must ensure that we don't drift and become just another one man centric party.”

The letter became public amid media reports that Arvind Kejriwal wants Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav out of the party's National Executive.

However, Yadav dismissed any such move but also warned the party against indulging in petty tactics.

He tweeted:

The rift within the party comes even as a letter by its internal Lokpal has pointed to the growth of two camps within the top leadership of the party due to an "abject breakdown in communication and mutual trust" and said it needs to make efforts to address criticisms over inner- party democracy.

In the letter written ahead of its National Executive meet last week, Admiral Ramdas, a former Navy chief and the party's internal Lokpal, also said that AAP must make efforts to become a genuinely gender-sensitive party as neither its PAC nor the Delhi government led by it has any woman members.

"During the past six to eight months, there has been an abject breakdown in communications and mutual trust amongst the topmost leadership of the party. This has in my view led to the growth of two camps within the party and loose talk about conspiracies.

"This is unacceptable and shows that we are no different from any of the parties whom we criticise so vocally. I sincerely urge the entire leadership of the party... To stop listening to rumours and to discourage colleagues... Who continually bring negative feedback about each other," Ramdas said in the letter.

Sources said that two senior AAP leaders and members of its all-powerful Political Affairs Committee, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, were unhappy with candidate selection. They also said that neither was the duo in favour of the party's decision to not contest Haryana elections last year.

The letter says there was a crisis situation just ahead of Delhi elections over issues raised by Bhushan who, it claims, also threatened to resign if his concerns were not addressed.

"In end December, 2014, there was a crisis situation brought about by Bhushan's unhappiness with candidate selection and the decision-making processes. If not addressed, he said he would be forced to resign from the party and go public.

"To contain this, a special meeting was called in Delhi on Jan 3-4, 2015, where a decision was taken to refer the issue to the AAP Lokpal, assisted by a specially selected team," the letter said.

AAP sources have said that Arvind Kejriwal had tendered his resignation as the party's national convener during the national executive meet earlier this week, but the move was vehemently opposed by members.

The sources said that Kejriwal was upset after a section of party leaders raised the issue of him playing the dual role of Delhi Chief Minister and the party's convener. Kejriwal is believed to have demanded more freedom to run the party.

In his letter, Ramdas said AAP needs to make efforts to address criticisms over its inner-party democracy. In the past, leaders like Shazia Ilmi have quit the party citing lack of inner party democracy.

"There has been criticism within the party regarding decision-making and inner-party democracy.

After the Lok Sabha debacle, a splinter group called AAP Volunteers' Vichar Manch (AVAM) was formed, raising issues related to the party. The group was later expelled.

"Volunteers are our lifeline. We neglected and took for granted our volunteers and their commitment, especially after the general elections in 2014.

"This may well have been one of the contributory factors for the emergence of AVAM. We need to learn the right lessons from this experience and put in place robust mechanisms and people to handle this resource," Ramdas said.  

With Agency Inputs

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