AAP’s internal Lokpal points to 2 camps
A letter written by AAP’s 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.
Sources claim differences have cropped up between senior AAP members, especially over the selection of candidates for the Delhi Assembly polls, the letter suggested that any criticism of inner-party democracy needed to be dealt with by an independent group which carries out an internal audit.
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 step up 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 Political Affairs Committee, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, were irked over 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 miffed 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.
Ramdas also urged the party not to neglect and take its volunteers for granted.
“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.