As Arvind Kejriwal returned from Bengaluru, Delhi received him minus the cheer.
After the 5 saal Kejriwal chant that resounded across Delhi, the man won the city’s heart and 67 seats these elections. Then he went on to take oath as chief minister on Valentine’s Day , in a ceremony that was not short of a wedding , as far as emotions go.
Unlike the last time though, Kejriwal isn’t being accused of being a ‘ bhagoda ‘. The problem this time around is a rift within the party. One faction of the party believes in losing its Delhi-centric identity, in branching out to other states. The other faction, is largely Kejriwal.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief is holding the reins too tight, some argue.
“The issue of expansion has been the bone of contention between Kejriwal and Yogendra Yadav. The latter strongly advocated moving to Haryana, Punjab and Bihar among other states after forming government in Delhi and emerge as a national alternative.”
“In a joint letter to the National Executive (NE), Bhushan and Yadav mentioned that despite the majority in the NE wanting the state units to decide autonomously on state polls, Kejriwal overturned the decision,” Firstpost reports.
AAP volunteers in Karnataka moved a resolution demanding to bring back Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan in the Political Affairs Committee , from which they were ousted on March 4.
As AAP member Rajmohan Gandhi wrote in a strongly-worded article in The Tribune : “But Arvind cannot bring about the revolution he wants on his own, or with the aid only of people he is comfortable with. Not round the clock, not every day, but at least occasionally, he will need the comradeship of ‘difficult’ and questioning human beings who may have valuable ideas, talents and perspectives, and whose commitment has earned the trust of a large number of Indians, including many AAP volunteers.”
“Persons, in other words, like Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. And Arvind must insulate his large bold heart against suspicion towards true colleagues.”
The other big problem, of course, are the stings.
Party member Rajesh Garg, who was instructed by the CM to record fishy telephonic conversations, ‘stung’ Kejriwal himself by releasing an audio tape where one can allegedly hear the chief trying to buy out Congress MLAs .
This also resulted in Anjali Damania quitting AAP, having lost faith in the party.
“I quit.. I have not come into AAP for this nonsense. I believed him. I backed Arvind for principles not horse-trading,” Damania tweeted, reports Hindustan Times .
The third major grievance with Kejriwal is over AAP involving many volunteers from other states for the Delhi government election process. The party chief is answerable.
“The present dispute within the AAP has conveyed a negative message across the country. Arvind Kejriwal is our undisputed leader and under his leadership we want the political change that took place in Delhi to spread elsewhere. Like in Delhi, corruption is in every state. We need to go beyond Delhi and redress the grievances of the people,” AAP convenor of Mysore district, Vinod MS told Firstpost.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Volunteer Action Manch (AVAM) has found the right opportunity to project the need for its existence.
Karan Singh of AVAM says, “AVAM was formed in 2014, when for the first time volunteers got frustrated, as the party’s top leadership, including Kejriwal, stopped listening to their grievances and demands. It’s against the basic principles of AAP that talks about Swaraj (internal democracy), but in practice, the party never follows it. Whosoever raises questions is shown the door. It happened with us. And, it has worsened now.”
It has barely been a month, and AAP has started unravelling its internal workings. And the lack of democracy is quite apparent.