Team Kejriwal vs Camp Dissent: Battle's on after Bhushan's criticism | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Team Kejriwal vs Camp Dissent: Battle's on after Bhushan's criticism

It has been a while since undercurrents of dissent started swirling within the Aam Aadmi Party. The murmurs became louder and stronger with a letter written by Admiral L Ramdas, the AAP's internal lokpal, pointing out the growing resentment within the party's ranks and the need to analyse Arvind Kejriwal's position as the national convener.

delhi Updated: Mar 03, 2015 21:09 IST
HT Correspondent
From-left-to-right-AAP-leaders-Yogendra-Yadav-Prashant-Bhushan-Manish-Sisodia-and-Arvind-Kejriwal-at-a-party-event-Sushil-Kumar-HT-Photo
From-left-to-right-AAP-leaders-Yogendra-Yadav-Prashant-Bhushan-Manish-Sisodia-and-Arvind-Kejriwal-at-a-party-event-Sushil-Kumar-HT-Photo

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday he was "deeply hurt and pained" by the ongoing tussle in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). "I am deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party. This is betrayal of trust that (the people of) Delhi reposed in us," Kejriwal tweeted, adding that he will not allow "people's trust to be broken".

It has been a while since undercurrents of dissent started swirling within the Aam Aadmi Party. The murmurs became louder and stronger with a letter written by Admiral L Ramdas, the AAP's internal lokpal, pointing out the growing resentment within the party's ranks and the need to analyse Arvind Kejriwal's position as the national convener.

Latching on to the concerns raised by him, senior members Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav also shot off letters. On Monday, Bhushan signalled the beginning of a full-blown ideology war with Kejriwal and his supporters.

Here is a look at the people involved in this political battle and their views on the AAP's philosophy:

Admiral Ramdas, AAP's internal lokpal

*Can the chief minister of a state and the national convener, if he/she be the same person, be in a position to discharge both the duties efficiently?

*Whether we like it or not, today we are a national party and we can no longer keep our vision limited to Delhi or some region within the Capital.

*Volunteers are our life line. We neglected and took for granted our volunteers and their commitment.

*During the past 6 to 8 months there has been an abject breakdown in communications and mutual trust among top leadership of the party.

Prashant Bhushan, political affairs committee (PAC) member

*Even as late as November, just before the actual dissolution of the assembly, attempts were being surreptitiously made to seek Congress support to form the government in Delhi

*Running a person-centric campaign may be effective but does that justify sacrificing our principles?

*We had claimed that we would put all our accounts on a public website. But far from bringing the party under RTI, we have not even put our accounts on a website. We have put our donations but not our expenses.

*There is certainly a great danger of that happening in the party (on a high-command culture, where only one person calls the shots)

*I respect Arvind's political judgments. But sometimes he could be wrong too. I have some very serious disagreements with how AAP is functioning.

Yogendra Yadav, PAC member

*I feel sad and at the same time (feel like) laughing too after reading whatever is being said in the media about me and Prashant ji... Delhi has given such huge mandate to AAP. I would appeal that we should not let the faith of people dwindle in the AAP.

*Today, it is the time to work for the country. The country has great expectation from us (AAP).

*Is there any other party in the country where there is an internal lokpal? Is there a party in the country where a senior can scold the members? If someone says something honestly, they will point out at both good and bad things, he has every right to do it.

*It is written in the AAP constitution that the lokpal will not be the member of the party but will have more authority than even the highest decision-making body in the party.

Arvind Kejriwal, AAP convener and Delhi CM

*Deeply hurt and pained by what is going on in the party; this is betrayal of trust that Delhi posed in us.

*I refuse to be drawn into this ugly battle. Will concentrate on Delhi's governance. Will not let peoples trust break under any circumstances

Sanjay Singh, AAP spokesperson

*Attempts are being made to remove Arvind Kejriwal as the national convenor of the party

*If there are disagreements within the Aam Aadmi Party, they should be discussed internally and not publicly
*The party will not be able to function smoothly if senior members target Kejriwal and make efforts to defame the party

Sources said the lack of consensus over the party's future in other states is what has brought the differences between AAP members to a head. Those who stand divided are:

Anti-Kejriwal Camp
Yogendra Yadav, member of the national executive and the PAC
Prashant Bhushan, member of both the national executive and the PAC
Shanti Bhushan, legal luminary, not a formal member of the decision-making bodies but acts as a patriarch
Admiral Ramdas, former navy chief, AAP's internal lokpal
Ilyas Azmi, PAC member
AVAM AAP ex-volunteers

Yadav and Bhushan may have their supporters but a number of prominent party members are backing party supremo Kejriwal.

Pro-Kejriwal Camp
Manish Sisodia, deputy chief minister, member of national executive and PAC
Sanjay Singh, AAP spokesperson, member of national executive and PAC
Ashish Talwar, campaign chief for Delhi elections
Ashutosh, AAP spokesperson
Ashish Khetan, AAP spokesperson
Kumar Vishwas, PAC member
Pankaj Gupta, disciplinary committee member
Anand Kumar, national executive member
Rahul Mehra, AAP spokesperson