The rift within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems to be widening by the day. After an ‘explosive’ letter by the party’s internal Lokpal pointed out “abject breakdown in communication and mutual trust” in the top leadership, a letter, purportedly written by senior leader Prashant Bhushan, surfaced on Sunday, lending weight to the speculation that all is not well between the duo of Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, and CM Arvind Kejriwal.
According to Prashant’s letter, certain party leaders were trying to avoid fresh elections in the Capital. “Just before the actual dissolution of the assembly, attempts were being surreptitiously made to seek Congress support to form the government again without having to contest elections,” the letter said.
It also questioned the party’s “one person-centric campaign”. “Running a person-centric campaign may be effective but does that justify sacrificing our principles?... Our systems of accountability, including our disciplinary committees and State Lokpals, have become largely dysfunctional in many places… Far from bringing the party under RTI, we have not even put our accounts on a website,” it added.
Another letter, this one jointly written by Bhushan and Yadav , read, “We now need to get to the root of these donations and find out if the PAC scrutiny mechanism failed.”
Hitting out at the duo, AAP Delhi state leader Dilip Pandey said Yadav was conspiring to take over the post of the national convener. In a scathing letter to party national secretary Pankaj Gupta, he called for action against Yadav and Bhushan for “conspiring against Arvind Kejriwal” on several occasions and supporting the splinter group AVAM.
The letters surfaced even as AAP leaders were trying to play down internal Lokpal admiral (retired) Ramdas’ letter written last week which talked about the presence of “two camps within the party”. “This is unacceptable,” Ramdas reportedly said in his letter to the party ahead of its national executive meet on Thursday. He also reportedly asked for clarity on whether Kejriwal can handle dual posts of Delhi CM and AAP convener.
Denying a rift, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said, “There have been differences of opinion, but no crisis. Whoever has leaked the (Lokpal’s) letter has not done right. Had these issues been raised within the party, we could have addressed them better.”
So would the party reconstitute its all-powerful parliamentary affairs committee (PAC) with more powers to Kejriwal? Not anytime soon, according to a senior party leader. “I don’t see any such decision being taken till the Delhi budget which is likely to presented in the third week of this month.”