New Delhi: In yet another sign of widening internal rift within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the close aides of party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have now released a recorded conversation with a journalist who had written a critical piece on party's affairs and held an informal breakfast meeting with senior leader Yogendra Yadav.
Media reports on Tuesday claimed that the conversation between Yadav and the journalist was recorded without her knowledge. The Kejriwal camp is also alleging that Yadav – a very senior AAP leader - gave critical information about party's strategy and decisions regarding polls to the journalist during the meeting.
The conversation, which was supposed to be off the record, is now being used to build a solid case against Yogendra Yadav in the ongoing feud within the party.
AAP's Delhi Secretary Dilip Pandey had earlier made serious allegations against Yadav and written a letter to the disciplinary committee alleging anti-party activities by the latter.
This recording of the conversation between the journalist and Yadav was also discussed during the heated National Executive meeting on February 26 and also finds mention in Dilip Pandey's letter to the Disciplinary Committee.
Crisis in the party intensified after noted advocate and one of the founding members of AAP, Prashant Bhushan, in a letter to the National Executive last week, said that the "one person-centric" campaign was making the party look like other parties and called for more "swaraj" within the organisation.
Along with Yadav, he also gave a joint letter to the National Executive and demanded activation of an ethics and grievance committee. Yadav added that although electoral politics requires a face, the party should make a conscious effort not to fall prey to personality cult.
"Within the organisation you have to ensure that we do not fall prey to personality cult. These are the things which we have to constantly struggle. It's not a special case that AAP has to struggle with. Its a real question of democratic procedure. I am happy that AAP is at least struggling with these questions and there are no easy answers," Yadav said.
He added that in a joint note to NE members in meeting last week, they had spelt out things which required immediate action and certain things which required long term action. "We need an ethics committee which would ensure that whenever ethical questions come up we don't look like any other party. We have set high bars for ourselves."
"Autonomy for state units and the third question was strengthening internal democracy procedures. These are constructive suggestions no one would disagree with. Even Lokpal has raised similar questions and we need to raise similar questions in the Indian politics," Yadav said.
Peeved at its senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan's criticism of AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal's approach, the party has called a meeting of its National Executive on March 4 during which tough action against the duo could be taken.
AAP sources, however, claim that the party won't ask them to leave but if they chose to do so, they won't be stopped.
Yogendra Yadav, who is in the middle of a rift within the AAP, has said that he will be a part of the party as long as it continues to work for the people and nurture their hopes, while Prashant Bhushan has called for postponing the National Executive meeting scheduled on March 4.