'They singled out Arvind for criticism': Adarsh Shastri

  • Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 11, 2015 16:43 IST

A petition demanding strict action against Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan has been signed by an undisclosed number of AAP MLAs. Hindustan Times talked to AAP's MLA from Dwarka, Adarsh Shastri, who admits to signing the petition. Shastri, a former Apple executive, is said to be close to Kejriwal.

Why have the MLAs come out with this letter now?

Ashish Kehtan and I had gone to invite Bhushan to participate in the Delhi Dialogue series but he told us that your party is going to lose and Arvind is good for nothing and you need to change him if you want to do something for the party. This is the message he gave before the Delhi elections.

His sister came to me from America and said that we are contacting all points of contacts and asking them not to support AAP. What kind of politics is that? What kind of politics is it when Shanti Bhushan, during the election campaign, is saying that Kiran Bedi is number one and Ajay Maken is number two and Arvind is number three?

Does this mean that there is not space for dissent within the party?

Raise these questions in appropriate forums. It is a question of discipline. Every party, every house has certain rules you operate within. If you don’t do that then you are not democratic.

Was the AAP not formed to break barriers about what is said within the party and what is said outside?

You can say anything about the party but within the process defined by the party. The process is that there is a forum of the PAC, the national executive and national council. There are informal forums; there is the Delhi election committee.

How is this different from any other party?

It is different because in other parties you can’t even voice dissent within the party forums. The point is that for the last eight-nine months, they singled out Arvind for criticism. Talk about the direction of the campaign, we don’t have a problem with that. Speak about candidates, which they did, that’s also fine. We examined that and we removed two. But there is a difference between that and these things. As a founder member, are you going to say Arvind is the third best choice for CM, that too before the elections?

In the past four days, things have been systematically done to throw these three out?

It is not systematic. It is our frustration. I and many others like me quit my job to join the party and change the country and I did not come here for this. I did not expect this kind of negative campaign and negative work from such senior leaders. It is disillusioning and that is why we wrote the letter.

Why aren’t the minutes of any of the party meetings available?

Whatever questions you have, voice them in the right forum, Secondly, I don’t think any party is as transparent as us.

The party hasn’t even made the party expenditure public.

That process is ongoing. That is already being worked on and should happen soon.

Bhushan has said that these issues have been raised repeatedly over the past few months.

These issues have not been raised in the PAC. Some meetings were informal. The minutes of the meetings are not online because in some cases the nature of the discussion is that it cannot be put online. Raising these issues in the media is not the solution.

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