Differences within the Aam Aadmi Party are out in the open. Two letters to the party’s National Executive, one by Prashant Bhushan and the other by Yogendra Yadav and Bhushan together, have explicitly questioned some of its practices, which reportedly drew the ire of AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal. Questions were raised of transparency, candidate selection, swaraj and other key structural issues related to the party. Two key portions from those leaked letters have caught the media’s attention. Both letters have brought up the funding scam AAP found itself in before the Delhi assembly elections, where four cheques of Rs 50 lakh each were donated to the party by companies that “did not look (like) genuine business entities”.
The party’s Public Affairs Committee (PAC), according to Bhushan, was tasked with screening donations above Rs 10 lakh to precisely save itself from such “dubious donors”. The controversy that stemmed out from the alleged funding scam clearly states how the PAC failed to maintain the required checks and balances. The party, one must not forget, was built on the idea that it was clean and transparent in all its dealings. Following concerns surrounding “dubious donors”, these letters also state that decisions taken by the National Executive (NE) were overruled by a certain segment of the party’s top leadership. In total contravention to the probity AAP preaches both letters pointed to the non existence of the minutes of PAC and NE meetings.
These elements, noting the minutes of PAC and NE meetings and screening donations over Rs 10 lakh, are keys to providing the required checks and balances for a truly democratic entity like AAP. Considering the hope Delhi’s electorate had vested in the party, it is important that AAP leaders amicably resolve these concerns.