AAP in damage control mode
In the news for all the wrong reasons in recent times, the Aam Aadmi Party leaders on Saturday tried to put up an united face. Convener Arvind Kejriwal met with dissenting leaders to hear them out, note their views and discussed future plans of the party in the meeting of political affairs committee (PAC) of AAP.
‘The PAC has unanimously rejected the resignation of Yogendra Yadav and Naveen Jaihind. Plurality of views is a good sign and part of every democratic set up,’ said senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan to media persons after the meeting of PAC. Senior party leaders Yogendra Yadav, Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, Gopal Rai, most AAP MLAs in Delhi and MPs attended the meeting. Bhushan said the infighting in the party is now a thing of the past.
On the question of Shazia Ilmi returning to the party, he said, ‘She is in the USA. A few senior members had spoken to her. We will discuss the issue after she returns.’ He said AAP would soon announce an election within the party.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal met Yogendra Yadav at his residence. ‘Yogendra Yadav has raised some important issues. All of us will work on it,’ tweeted Kejriwal after the meeting. He added, ‘He is a very dear friend and a very valued colleague. Had long discussion with him.’
The infighting between Yadav and Manish Sisodia came to light when a letter written to Yadav by Sisodia was leaked to the media on 4 June in which Sisodia strongly criticised Yadav. Sisodia’s letter was in reply to Yadav’s letter in which he had criticised the unilateral approach of Kejriwal.
In his six-page letter, Yadav had raised some serious issues that were affecting the the party, particularly the authoritarian approach of Kejriwal and lack of inner democracy in the party. In reply Sisodia had alleged that Yadav was happy when Kejriwal’s decision went in his favour and critical when it didn’t.
Senior party leader Shazia Ilmi also resigned on 24 May alleging ‘cronies’ had hijacked the party’s agenda, and it completely lacked internal democracy. The poor performance of AAP in the Lok Sabha elections has forced the party to rethink its strategy. The party could win only four MP seats in Punjab. In the PAC meeting, AAP leaders asked cadres to prepare for re-election in Delhi.