Section of AAP leaders miffed with party's Ombudsman

Even as AAP tries to contain internal strife, a section of the party leaders are apparently upset with Admiral Ramdas, the 'internal Lokpal' and former Chief of Navy staff, for writing a letter last month criticising the leadership.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 19, 2015, 22:42 PM IST

New Delhi: Even as AAP tries to contain internal strife, a section of the party leaders are apparently upset with Admiral Ramdas, the 'internal Lokpal' and former Chief of Navy staff, for writing a letter last month criticising the leadership.

Sources said the leaders close to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were of the opinion that Ramdas overstepped his brief by shooting the letter to members of AAP's Political Affairs Committee, the party's highest decision making body.

"It was not in his domain to write any letter to the PAC or comment on party affairs. The letter, which was critical of Kejriwal, also raised questions about neutrality of Lokpal and some leaders are upset about it," said a senior party leader.

He further said a Lokpal should not been seen tilting in anyone's favour.

"He should involve himself in the party affairs only when any case is referred to him," said another leader adding that the letter written by him was one of the reasons for snow-balling of the current crisis.

Questions are also being raised about the term of Ramdas.

"There is no clarity on the term of Lokpal in the constitution and Ramdas has already completed two-and-half years in that post," said the sources.

The party issued a statement on the issue downplaying the the sentiments of certain leaders against Ramdas.

"The party appreciates his role as an impartial Lokpal, who never interfered in the party's decision making process nor did he ever make any attempt to take sides on any issue."

In a letter to PAC ahead of the National Executive meeting on February 26 last month, Ramdas noted that there were two camps emerging within top leadership and had asked the party to consider 'one-man, one-post' arrangement.

Ramdas also emphasised on having more clarity on whether Kejriwal can handle dual posts of Delhi chief minister and National Convener. He noted there was "abject breakdown in communication and mutual trust" in top leadership which was "unacceptable".

Ramdas is a former navy chief who won Ramon Magsaysay award for peace in 2004 for his demilitarising and denuclearising South Asia.

In the last Assembly polls, he also cleared 10 of the 12 candidates on which party leader Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav had raised objections on.