Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav may soon be dropped from the party's highest decision-making body, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC).
Sources on Saturday said that many leaders of the AAP were unhappy with Yadav's style of functioning. During the National Executive meeting on February 26 in New Delhi, there were heated arguments targeting the psephologist-turned-politician.
After two days of intense discussion in the National Executive, it was decided that the PAC will be reconstituted with fresh suggestions from party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Sources even claimed that Kejriwal himself is not happy with Yadav. Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia skipped the National Executive on the first day.
After that National Executive meeting was called again the next day, only permanent members with voting rights were called in for a closed-door consultation. Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav were not present in that meeting. The remaining AAP members are reported to have voted in favour of reconstituting the PAC and gave Kejriwal the authority to reorganise it.
Aam Aadmi Party forms panel to implement poll promises in manifesto-Indian express
To implement its 70-point poll agenda and the suggestions that came out of the party’s Delhi Dialogues, the AAP has formed a Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC). Party sources said it will be the most powerful committee that will oversee the workings of the government. Though the AAP has called it an ‘advisory committee’ many in the government believe that it will be an ‘implementing agency’.
Apart from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who is its chairman, the commission will have nine members — the vice-chairman, deputy chief minister, chief secretary, finance secretary, secretary to the CM, and two members and a member secretary who will be nominated by the CM.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission. Khetan had played a key role in organising the Dialogues to establish a connect with the people.
Sources said that Khetan, along with Kejriwal, will supervise every department through task forces that will be constituted for every department. Those in the task forces will comprise experts from various fields such as academics and bureaucracy.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “This will be a high-powered committee. This is the reason why Kejriwal did not assign any department to himself. He will now have time to ensure that a new vision of governance can be implemented. There will be five-six task forces in the DDC. Those in the task force will mingle among people and inform the government about the best ideas for education, health, electricity and water.”
The DDC’s first meeting is likely to happen on Monday or Tuesday, sources said.
Ashish Khetan said, “We had initiated the Delhi Dialogues before elections. We held Dialogues with Delhi’s youth and senior citizens and prepared our 70-point agenda. The government has promised to formalise the process of dialogue with the public. We are in the process of identifying the best national or international model to facilitate such dialogue. Meanwhile, if people have any ideas on issues such as cleaning the Yamuna, air pollution, water, administrative reforms etc,. they can send us an e-mail.”
AAP’s Yogendra Yadav on his way out? Party gives Arvind Kejriwal right to rejig panel
Aam Aadmi Party’s lokpal writes of many rifts within party-Indian Express.-01.03.2015
In a detailed note written a day before the AAP National Executive on February 26, Admiral Ramdas (82) the AAP’s “internal Lokpal” and former Chief of Navy staff said it is important that the party “give out clear signals that all senior members of the party — primarily the Parliamentary Affair’s committee (PAC) — are together and united”.
The note has suggestions and questions for the party and also reveals that there are “two camps” and inner conflict in the AAP.
The Indian Express had reported on Friday that members of the AAP’s National Executive (NE) had moved towards giving Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal powers to reconstitute the PAC and that senior leader Yogendra Yadav was not likely to find a place in it.
Yadav’s role in the run-up to the Delhi polls had come under severe scrutiny at a NE meeting held on Thursday. Kejriwal did not attend the meeting and had instead offered his resignation, which was rejected by the NE. Ramdas’s note too had come up for discussion at the meeting.
The note says, “In 2014 December-end, there was a crisis brought about by Prashant Bhushan’s unhappiness with candidate selection and decision-making processes. If these were not addressed, he said he would be forced to resign and go public. To contain this, a special meeting was called in Delhi on January 3-4, 2015, and it was decided to refer the issue to the Lokpal, assisted by a specially selected team.”
When contacted, Bhushan said, “There was a letter by Admiral Ramdas but this is an internal matter and I do not want to comment on it.”
Ramdas’s letter, addressed to the NE and the PAC, said for six to eight months, there has been an abject breakdown in communication between the senior leadership, which resulted in the formation of “two camps”.
“I had hoped that the thumping result in the recent Delhi polls would have restored a positive energy in the party and that many of the mutual suspicions would be laid to rest… Alas, this was not to be, and most recently, while in Delhi during the results and swearing-in, I spent many hours in many difficult conversations where many of the old ghosts were constantly raising their heads.”
Ramdas also raises questions of whether the AAP requires “creative and visionary decisions on redefining the role of National Convenor”, and asks for discussion on whether the CM of a state and the National Convenor can be the same person and discharge duties efficiently”.
He said he was surprised at the manner in which some decisions were taken in June 2014 and that important decisions need far more rigorous processes and methods.
Ramdas also suggests a need for discussions on an internal audit into inner-party democracy, on whether party bodies need to be reconstituted to better represent “different forms of diversity”, as well as the need to bring in improvements in women’s participation.
“I personally find it difficult to defend AAP against accusations of being mainly a ‘Boy’s Club’, especially when we are not able to have even one woman in our team of ministers,” Ramdas said.
He said, “I have been aghast at the way in which decisions taken in our meetings are leaked within minutes; where conversations are recorded and uploaded and sting operations conducted with little or no accountability. Every email and letter I have sent out seems to become common knowledge and often has found its way to the media.”
Speaking to The Sunday Express over phone, Ramdas said, “We were all gearing up for the win in Delhi, and this was a combined effort. It happened because of the hard work of different people — from Yogendra Yadav to Kejriwal. They are all children as far as I am concerned. But it happened because the motives, roots and processes were good and well intentioned. There are rough edges that need to be smoothened and there are problems because, with all humility, the AAP is a two-year old party. We need to solve them, and move past them.”
At party meet, Arvind Kejriwal wanted to quit as AAP national convener-IBN-01.03.2015
‘Kejriwal bid to quit as AAP convener opposed by party’-The Hindu
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had tendered his resignation as party’s national convener in the National Executive (NE) meeting held on Thursday, party sources said, a move which was vehemently opposed by members.
Sources said Mr. Kejriwal was upset after a section of leaders raised the issue of him playing the dual role of the Delhi Chief Minister and the party convener. Mr. Kejriwal is believed to have demanded more freedom to run the party.
“In the NE meeting, Mr. Kejriwal had offered to resign, having become the chief minister. He had sent a note and also conveyed his decision over the phone. The move was vehemently opposed by everyone, including Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. On the same night, NE members met Mr. Kejriwal and conveyed that they had rejected his proposal of quitting.
“A suggestion also came up to rejig the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) but a final decision will be taken by Mr. Kejriwal,” said a senior party leader. The rejig is likely to take place after the Budget session of Delhi Legislative Assembly, which is slated to take place next week.
There have been reports of friction between Mr. Kejriwal and senior party leader Yogendra Yadav. Sources said differences have cropped up between senior party leaders especially over the candidate selection during the Delhi assembly election. Owing to this, Mr. Bhushan and Mr. Yadav were not attending the PAC.
The Delhi unit of AAP was reportedly unhappy about the opposition over the candidate selection process as it claimed that the party already had a strong filter to weed out candidates who could not meet the party standards.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yadav said no decision was taken to rejig the PAC. “As I said, there was a NE meeting, no such decision has taken place and about speculation, obviously I cannot respond. The AAP is not into such petty political games that get played in other political parties.”
Following the NE meet, a three-member committee was constituted comprising party’s national secretary Pankaj Gupta, Gopal Rai and Anand Kumar to talk to Mr. Kejriwal, Mr. Yadav and Bhushan and sort the issues.
Concerns were also raised about “leakage” by some leaders to the media. – PTI