To spare itself further embarrassment, the Aam Aadmi Party has decided to maintain a close watch on all its legislators and has sought the help of volunteers for the task.
Party sources suggest that senior leaders have asked volunteers to keep a “ground-level” watch on AAP legislators and report straight to the senior leadership in case of any “suspicious” activity.
The party has, however, denied any such move.
Apart from the legislators, who are embroiled in controversies, the party has also decided to keep a close watch on MLAs named by ousted members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan before the state assembly elections.
The party had previously distanced itself from sitting MLAs, two of whom held a cabinet post. Since the Aam Aadmi Party came to power in February this year, four of its MLAs have been arrested, while one has been sacked by party supremo Arvind Kejriwal on charges of corruption.
Jitender Singh Tomar, Somnath Bharti, Manoj Kumar and Surinder Singh, have been arrested by Delhi Police in the past six months on various charges. Asim Ahmed Khan, food and civil supplies minister, was sacked by the chief minister on Friday on charges of corruption.
After Tomar’s arrest, the chief minister had admitted that the party legislator had misled him. Kejriwal had also openly condemned Bharti when he was on the run in an attempt to avoid being arrested in the domestic violence case filed against him by his wife Lipika Mitra.
Raising concerns over the party and its functioning, Yadav said the chain of events has been shocking. He said that it must be asked as to what has happened to the party within eight months.
“Any medicine is better than no medicine, but at the same time we have to ask what led to such a situation and what happened to the party which was made on such high principles?” said Yadav.
The AAP, however, scrapped the allegations claiming that volunteers have always acted as source of feedback.
“We have open communication channels between our MLAs and volunteers, the latter have always provided us with grassroot feedback only to help us better ourselves. Although there has been no talk of keeping anybody under surveillance,” said party MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj.