An AAP Volunteer's Appeal to Arvind Kejriwal-NDTV-13.03.2015(Priya James is a seasoned AAP volunteer living in the USA. She scripted, made and edited 200+ videos for its official and unofficial web pages.)
Expert after expert claimed that leaving the Chief Minister's office after 49 days was Arvind Kejriwal's biggest mistake. In hindsight, this turned out to be a brilliant move. Many experts claimed that fighting Lok Sabha elections was a major blunder too. In the short term, maybe, yes, but it was, in fact, a master-stroke in the long term. Today, AAP has supporters and offices in every nook and corner of India, second only to traditional national parties; an impossible task for a newcomer. So those two moves were not really mistakes.
However, Arvind Kejriwal (AK) is about to make his biggest blunder. Kejriwal's deafening silence on the current fiasco on expelling Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, has already cost him a lot. AAP's real strength is not Kejriwal, Bhushan, or Yadav, but the millions of passionate volunteers who support the party pro-bono 24/7 across India and the globe. A significant majority of them joined AAP because they connected with the idea of clean politics, transparency in Indian politics and Swaraj. It was a dream come true.
Expelling Bhushan and Yadav from the Political Action Committee has dimmed that dream already. Like Kejriwal, Bhushan has an impeccable record. When it comes to ethics and justice, I don't think even Kejriwal can beat Bhushan. There is an allegation that Bhushan wanted AAP to lose the Delhi election. Let's assume that this is true and ask the question, why? The devil lies in the details; did Bhushan feel AAP was compromising its ethics and promise of clean politics? Bhushan's and Yadav's letters further show the commitment of these leaders to instill Swaraj, transparency and accountability within the party. The exact ideas which Kejriwal talked about through his Delhi campaign, the issues for which most volunteers toiled day and night.
Expelling these two leaders for questioning or challenging the ethics within the party places Kejriwal naturally on the wrong side. And seriously, Kejriwal cannot afford to be on the wrong side. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the liberty enjoyed by Narendra Modi. Modi bhakts were fascinated by the persona of Modi but ''AAPtards'' as we are called are more fascinated by the IDEA of AAP than the person who voiced it.
Of course there will always be a set of fan-boys, loyalists or opportunists around any tall leader. Likewise, I am sure Kejriwal will also have a set around him as well (soon they may want to make him wear an AK-imprint suit as well) but he will lose the large majority of passionate volunteers across India and the globe if he doesn't act.
Lack of internal democracy within AAP was a secret only we the volunteers knew. Thanks to this fiasco, it has now become public. Let's face it - as of now, AAP is a one -man party. Kejriwal makes all the final decisions. So he alone can decide on the future direction as well. If Kejriwal fails to take concrete steps towards Swaraj and accountability within the party, then these ideas would become a joke. (I can already see Ravi Shankar Prasad chuckling). If he cannot implement these values within the party, how will he implement it in a diverse city like Delhi? This would also be the beginning of AAP's decay. We just saw how a few impulsive and immature power centers mishandled this fiasco by abusing their power and splitting the party in the name of saving it from dirty hands.
The most recent allegation (if true) that Kejriwal himself was involved in negotiations with Congress MLAs to form the government shows that he is not infallible. Even though there is nothing wrong in such a move in current political times, just the fact that AAP was founded with "high moral grounds" make this act unethical. The "high moral ground" is the only unique selling point (USP) that AAP has, differentiating it from the rest of the parties. Today, AAP is an organization with millions of volunteers and hundreds of officials. It is common sense that it cannot hold on to its "high moral ground" stand without proper processes and transparency in place. If AAP want to maintain its image, then instilling transparency within the party is as important as its governance of Delhi. Or else in five years the party will disintegrate.
There is a huge uproar among the volunteers to put things straight within AAP. Kejriwal cannot afford NOT to listen to the voice of these volunteers because until a few weeks back, he was screaming at politicians who closed their ears to volunteers and voters.
Volunteers who worked day and night are determined to voice their disappointment. I don't think they will let anyone take their patronage for granted this time. As dedicated voices, they have evolved innovative methods to voice their concerns as evidenced below:
- http://unitedaap.org -- an independent group of AAP supporters and donors who mobilized over 10 million rupees for the party is evaluating the mood of supporters and sympathizers. Over 85.6 per cent think the NE (National Executive) did not handle the issue well and 92.4 per cent feel disappointed with the internal crisis in AAP.
- A Google Survey with 11000+ participants voicing their stand on the removal. Here more than 95 per cent say the ouster of Bhushan and Yadav was not justified, and more than 90 per cent think there is no internal democracy in AAP.
- A Change.org petition demanding evidence backing removal of the leaders signed by 5000 supporters
- A trending hashtag #unitedAAP
- An internal appeal to the party Lokpal demanding a probe into constitutional lapses
This is Kejriwal's last golden opportunity to forgo his personal issues with individuals, move aside interest groups, rise to the occasion, and straighten things out. Else he would see many of his volunteers pulling the rug from under his feet. Yes, he may not need us in the near future but slip-ups such as this will hurt - deeply and for long. Kejriwal, being a keen and clever politician who understands the pulse of the people, will not miss this beat. I don't think he is that foolish. But I sincerely hope he understands that AAP needs his political skill, Yadav's communication skill, Bhushan's strong sense of ethics, Meera Sanyal's economics, Medha Patkar's social justice. This diversity in thought is the check and balance of AAP's solutions and policies. And it is this diversity that makes AAP different and promising for a diverse country like India.
‘Bhushan-Yadav too precious to lose, party should show heart, forget and forgive’-Hindustan Times
Aam Aadmi Party’s Bijwasan MLA Devendra Sehrawat is the latest voice from within the party to point to faultlines, but refuses being part of the growing rebellion. The retired Army colonel says the beleaguered duo of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan are too precious to lose and blames colleagues who give wrong advice to party chief Arvind Kejriwal. Excerpts:
AAP just completed one month in government, but it is in news for wrong reasons?
AAP is still evolving. During our 49-day government, one thing that went against us was the perception that we were impulsive. We should correct that. There are issues of ideology and work culture. Differences are bound to arise. Look at Mahatma Gandhi. He carried Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Bal Gangadhar Tilak along. But we also had Indira Gandhi, who split the Congress. You should not allow differences to lead to a point of no return.
Are you blaming Kejriwal?
Arvind believes in transparency and swaraj. He is a mature leader. The problem is everyone wants to fulfill Arvind’s wishes. It is in the interest of the party that we remain ‘salahkar’ (advisers) and don’t become ‘sahmatikar’ (yes men).
You are not part of the petition that some AAP MLAs signed for removal of Yadav and Bhushan from the party. Any particular reason?
It’s one version against the other. A fair evaluation should take place. If their loyalty or conduct is suspect, it should be examined more systematically by a competent authority--that is AAP’s internal Lokpal. I disapprove the whole thing. Also, the party hasn’t issued any whip to sign the petition.
What’s your take on the two?
These two have contributed to the party immensely. These are people of your ideology. Both have been removed from the political affairs committee. The principles of natural justice say you cannot punish a person twice for the same mistake. We must go out of our way, and show we have a large heart. Forgive, forget and carry on.
But aren’t you differing with your own MLAs?
When the top leadership has dealt with them, why drag it to MLAs and volunteers? You are stretching it. This is why I did not sign the petition. I don’t know how many MLAs have signed it. Such drastic steps send a message of intolerance.
What’s the lesson in all of this?
Look at the Lok Sabha election results, what happened in Haryana, Delhi? The voter today wants quick and widespread results. Today work and perception, both matter. People will respect you as long as you are accommodating (their views). Justice should not only be done, it should be seen to be done. Sometimes the latter is more important.
How do you justify Kejriwal’s attempt to break Congress and form government when AAP had been pressing for fresh elections?
This shows a bit of a conflict. See, we didn’t want the BJP to come to power. Congress had supported us once. We wanted to see if they can come back to the starting point. BJP’s gameplan was to delay elections and rule by proxy. We wanted to remove the Lieutenant Governor’s rule.
But is it fair?
If a government can be provided through legitimate means, what’s the problem? It’s not a case of financial impropriety, and we don’t know the authenticity of the tape.
AAP on the brink of implosion and only its chief Arvind Kejriwal is to blame-First Post
He rose on the political sky like a new star of hope.
In the run up to the election, he was euphemistically called the man of the masses, the ‘taqdeer’ of the nation. During the campaign, he claimed to have details of the Swiss bank accounts of the high and mighty in his diary and promised to eradicate corruption from the roots.
The minorities flocked to him; the middle-class loved him; the youth dreamt of a revolution when he spoke and the poor believed he was their messiah. Riding on the euphoria, the promise of a new dawn, the two-year-old party decimated its rivals and formed the next government in Delhi.
It was meant to be a new beginning. But it turned out to be the beginning of the end. Soon, the government turned into a never-ending drama full of conspiracies, betrayals, back-stabbing, ego clashes, damning revelations and ugly wars among its top leaders.
Sounds like the story of Arvind Kejriwal and his ugly circus? Yes, it does. But this is a story of VP Singh and his government; the saga of yet another politician who flattered India only to deceive it later.
Had former Prime Minister Singh been still alive, he would have seen striking similarities between himself and Kejriwal—from the beginning to the unfolding end. Had this not been real, Singh may have even been led to believe that his own biopic is now being played out in Kejriwal’s theatre of the absurd.
A recurring theme of Indian politics has been that every few years a new politician catches the fancy of the nation. He rails against the establishment, promises to fight against the corrupt and dynastic Congress, packages himself as honest and holier-than-thou, sells dreams of better days, makes promises that sound sincere, coins catchy slogans— Raja (VP Singh) Nahin Fakir Hai, Desh ki Taqdeer Hai, for instance — and then walks away with the trust and hopes of the voters.
And just when, after having invested heavily in the new neta on the block and as people wait for him to deliver, the bubble bursts. Either the politicians start fighting with each other—VP Singh vs Devi Lal vs Chandrashekhar vs Arun Nehru was a recurring theme during the Janata Dal government— or their mask comes off and they are revealed to be frauds and power-grabbers masquerading as fakir or aam aadmi for power.
Like VP Singh, and before him the Janata Party and Rajiv Gandhi, Kejriwal and his entourage have yet again proved that hope in Indian politics is transient. In the end, as people are fond of saying, all of them are the same.
The biggest difference between VP Singh and Kejriwal is that the former prime minister became a victim of his own circumstances. He suffered not only because of the friction within his own party but also due to the various forces pulling him in different directions from outside.
Within the party, Chandrashekhar never liked Singh— he was deceived into believing that Devi Lal would become the PM instead of Raja Manda at the first meeting of the victorious MPs - the Haryanvi leader saw himself almost as an equal and was always conniving to dethrone Singh.
Outside, the BJP was raising the temperature on Ram Mandir much to the discomfort of the ‘secular’ PM and his communist allies.
On the sidelines, the Congress—the single -largest party in spite of the loss— was stoking internal differences and widening the rifts between allies of the ruling coalition to re-launch its bid for power. From the very beginning, Singh found himself in a snake-pit, with pythons waiting at the exit.
In a desperate bid to save his chair, Singh, who had packaged himself as a mendicant who would readily sacrifice power, unleashed the Mandal Commission, sacked Devi Lal and some other colleagues and then clung on to the job even after the BJP withdrew support to his government.
In the end, people never forgave Singh for his greed for power and the havoc he unleashed in its pursuit.
Perhaps Singh would have acted differently if he had, like Kejriwal, got a brute majority and the politics of his time had not come under strain because of the Ram Mandir agitation. In the end, the attenuating circumstances contributed to his downfall.
But Kejriwal had it made. There were no external pressures on him, no social or communal divisions threatened to test his acumen and his deputy — unlike an ambitious and egoistic Devi Lal— appeared to be his yes man.
Yet, Kejriwal and his party are on the brink of implosion; their goodwill has disappeared and the mask has slipped off.
There is just one person to be blamed for this slide: Kejriwal.
Shazia Ilmi says the Delhi chief minister is insecure, power-hungry and thinks only about himself. Till a few days ago, nobody would have believed Shazia, but now the evidence, including allegations of Kejriwal’s efforts to divide the Congress to rule Delhi, is compelling.
Kejriwal seems to have several fatal flaws.
His insistence on retaining the AAP convener’s post (even Sonia Gandhi and Narendra Modi never enjoyed two positions), his inability to act like an unbiased leader and instead play petty power games like a faction leader or restrain his colleagues from fighting puerile battles in public are as serious as his intransigence to adhere to principles of internal democracy, and his predilection for sycophants and impatience. He seems to be in a hurry to do everything: form the government, quit, contest polls, and oust colleagues all at the same time.
And these have all combined to bring about his precipitous decline.
My Observation submitted in my Blog on 04.03.2015
Mr. Yogendra Yadav founder leader of Aam Admi Party has been removed on grounds of anti-party activities. Mr Yadav will not be in party's Political Affairs Committee and neither will he be a party's spokesman. Similarly Mr Prashant Bhusan has also been removed from PAC.
Today on 4th March 2015 ,Arvind Kejriwal has again committed blunder by absconding from crucial meeting . He should have attended meeting and tried to persuade party members to shed personal sentiments , forget what happened, forgive each other and pledge to work together .
But unfortunately on the plea of sickness due to cough and cold , Mr. Kejriwal thought it wise to abstain from party meeting and leave the fate on the mercy of GOD
It is very much unfortunate and needs to be condemned by all.
Mr. Kejriwal is the maker and guardian of AAP and it was his duty to bring about reconciliation in warring factions of the party to save the image of the party. Now irreparable damage has occurred to the party and there is no doubt that the removal of Mr Yadav is the beginning of the end of the party.
It is sad that Mr. Yogendra Yadav is the most gentle and the most sincere person who helped in formation , promotion and victory of the party. Punishing a god person without any valid reason will have disastrous outcome for the party .
People of Delhi will laugh at childish act of AAPians. It is Delhites who are very much disappointed and stands cheated in the hands of AAPians.
It indicates that there is complete absence of maturity and wisdom in running a party which was voted to power just a few days ago by voters of Delhi.If makers of the party are unable to keep the party intact, how will they be able to keep voters of Delhi happy and comfortable.
My Observation submitted on 11.03.2015
My Observation are as follows:
Mr. Arvind Kejriwal started movement against Corruption of Congress Party and for this purpose he joined hands with Team Anna. He exposed many scams of Congress Party . He then formed a political party to oust Congress Party from power. His party named as Aam Admi Party decided to take party in Delhi election . But unfortunately AAP could not get desired majority . He did not hesitate in taking support of Congress Party against which he had launched crusade .He pleaded that he never sought support from Congress Party , rather it was Congress Party which extended unconditional support to AAP .He got success in forming government in Delhi sacrificing all moral values which he preached to all parties .
He however resigned from the post of Chief Minister of Delhi just after 49 days only. He then started blaming Lt Governor Delhi saying that the Lt Governor was acting as agent of Congress Party . Soon he realised that Congress Party is no more a political force to reckon with in Delhi and hence he started abusing Mr. Narendra Modi saying that BJP is a communal party . He forgot Corruption of Congress party and prepared his all guns to kill BJP in election. His fight became more focussed against BJP when BJP got full majority in Parliamentary election and Mr. Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India . But in greed of power he forgot corruption of Congress Party and started making efforts to regain the support of MLAs of Congress Party so that BJP does not get power in Delhi.
On the one hand he was abusing BJP for not allowing election to happen and on the other he was trying to stop happening of election and hence negotiating with MLAs of Congress Party to regain power which he had lost due to his resignation. His dual game now fully exposed by his own colleague Rajesh Garg who had carried out sting operation against Mr Kejriwal.
Many other demerits and foul game has been brought to public domain by Mr. Yogendra Yadav, Mr. Prashant Bhusan, Mr. Shanti Bhusan, Mr. Rajesh Garg, Mr. Mayank Gandhi and many other colleagues of AAP supremo Mr. Kejriwal. It is free for fighting going on in open public domain. Now Mr. Kejriwal is left with no moral power to point out his accusing fingers towards BJP or Congress Party or any other Party.
In less than 50 days , leaders of AAP has exposed the foul game played by so called clean and honest political masters. AAP is abused of using money and wine in election, accused of giving party tickets to persons of crime record , abused of lacking in inner part discipline, accused of not giving respect to views of even executive body members, accused of not having any respect for democratic principles in inner part affairs, accused of not giving values to makers of the party ,accused of forgetting Jan Lokpal, accused of failing to keep a group of 20 to 30 members of PAC intact , united and devoted for party and so on.................Mr. Kejriwal who advocated sting operation against all corrupt officials and corrupt politicians became victim of same sting operation in the hands of his own colleagues. Shameful indeed.
It is not Mr. Kejriwal of his friends in AAP will lose the government , but it is the faith and hope of people of Delhi which has been shaken and shattered by leaders of AAP and it is voters of Delhi who stand cheated and disappointed in the hands of AAPians on whom they reposed full faith. It is defeat of common men who trusted Mr Kejriwal and his party not once but twice .
Whatever happened , people can forget provided Mr. Kejriwal comes back from Bangalore and reunite the broken heart of AAP MLAs and AAP supporters. If he does not do it or fail to do so , fight among AAPP leaders will get aggravated and expedite the end of AAP rule. He flied away to Bangalore on the ground of sickness when party was in critical crisis and committed a blunder and now at least he should come back to save the party from disaster.
Arvind Kejriwal Audio Leaks-II: AAP leader playing Muslim-card politics out in open as another audio tape leak surfaces-12.03.2015
New Delhi, Mar 12: A day after a tape surfaced in which Arvind Kejriwal is purportedly talking of poaching on Congress MLAs to form government in Delhi, another audio tape emerged today in which he allegedly talks of Muslims having no option other than AAP to stop the Narendra Modi wave.
“This is the hope that Muslims have from us. They don’t have any hope that more Muslim candidates will be fielded. Do a survey of 2000, 3000 and 5000 people. Do a survey of Muslims. What is the priority?
“Today, no one is able to stop the Modi rath in the country. They are forming governments in states one after the other. Today, Muslims are looking at us…If anyone can stop the Modi rath. Congress is over. It has given up. It is not contesting polls. They are asking us to field 11 seats,” Kejriwal is heard saying in the tape believed to have been released by a dissident AAP leader. In a tape that had surfaced yesterday, Kejriwal is purpotedly heard as talking of poaching six Congress MLAs to form government in Delhi last year.
New sting: Kejriwal said Muslims are with AAP-Indian Express-13.03.2015
A day after a recording of a conversation between former AAP MLA Rajesh Garg and Arvind Kejriwal emerged where the Chief Minister appeared to be asking the legislator to “break the Congress”, another recording surfaced late on Thursday night in which the party chief seems to be saying that “Muslims are watching that it is only the AAP that can stop the juggernaut of Modi”.
The sting was reportedly recorded when Kejriwal was in conversation with members of the AAP minority wing Shahid Azad, who was part of the AAP minority cell headed by Irfanullah Khan, a former AAP candidate who was later denied a ticket, said, “The point of this recording is that even Arvind Kejriwal disregards the feelings of Muslims, just like any other leader does.
Moreover, there is no respect for party processes. On November 24, the party’s minority wing met and decided that because of the shortage of minority representation in Parliament and Assembly, there should be proportional representation of Muslims in ticket distribution. It was also decided that before deciding tickets the minority wing should be consulted. It is based on the first demand that we asked for 11 seats for Muslims. But Arvind Kejriwal did not respect processes and the voice of minorities within his party. Many people in the room were recording this conversation which happened in the month of December.”
In the recording, Kejriwal seems to be arguing against “making up the numbers” by giving Muslims 11 seats. The voice on the tape, purportedly Kejriwal’s says, “The 7 muslim seats that are there, if you put Muslims there, it will get polarised… BJP will win…If you are thinking that 11 seats Muslims should get, numbers should be made up… Muslims are watching that if there is anyone who can stop the Modi rath, then it is the AAP than can do it, that is the biggest hope in front of them. What is the first priority… nobody can stop Modi’s rath, one after the another they are forming governments…”
An AAP leader said, “We have not verified the tape at all. But even if it was true, there is nothing wrong about it. In fact, in the recording Kejriwal is arguing against giving tickets based on religion, and reiterating that AAP is the hope against communal politics.”
Friday is also set to see another recording to be revealed, with Congress MLA Asif Muhammad Khan threatening to release a video where he alleges that senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh is offering him a ministerial position to “break the Congress” and support the AAP from the outside at a home in 2014. Asif had said on Wednesday that he didn’t wish to release the recording of Singh offering him a Cabinet berth as the “the meeting had taken place at the residence of a senior journalist… who was acting as a go-between and I didn’t want to put him in any trouble”.
On Thursday, he said, “If AAP is challenging me to release the sting, then I will. They haven’t left me any choice.” On his part Singh has maintained that while he met Khan, he offered no inducement, whether monetary or otherwise
My Appeal to Arvind Kejriwal dated 01.03.2015
I do not want to comment much on unpleasant development taking place in Aam Admi Party (AAP) during last few days. There is no doubt in it that AAP got unprecedented landslide victory in Delhi Election held a month ago . People of Delhi will be highly disappointed and feel cheated in the hands of AAP and Mr. Kejriwal if top leaders of AAP behave like leaders of other parties .
Media messages and contents of letter written by internal Lokpal of AAP and that by Mr. Prashant Bhusan make it crystal that there is no unity among party top leaders . Even during election and before announcement of last election , news of inner party rift, lack of discipline, news of misuse of party fund, use of wine for wining election, revolt by party Supremo Mr. Shanti Bhusan lack of cohesiveness and lack of respect for leaders other than Mr. Arvind Kejriwal came to light.
Though Mr. Yogendra Yadav pleads that mutual mud-slinging in the party indicates party's faith in democratic principles, it sends stinking smell outside party's campus. Mr. Sanjay Singh , Mr. Prashant Bhusan, Mr. Yogendra Yadav, and many others are accusing fingers towards others . In no way it may be considered as symptom of healthy democracy in the internal party' set up. In the past too, we have seen how Mr. Binni or Mr. Saza almi criticised AAP and left the party.
Despite all, people of Delhi extended full support to AAP and made Arvind Kejriwal Chief Minister of Delhi. People expressed full faith on Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and trusted ability, honesty and capacity of Mr. Kejriwal. They are now expecting that Mr. Kejriwal and his party will not involve in dirty politics which they used to say about others. It is very easy to for us put blame on others but very difficult to do all good things so that others not put the same blame on us.
In such position it becomes the duty of Mr. Kejriwal to maintain internal discipline, maintain moral standards above dirty politics of other parties, maintain internal cohesive and natural unity and work for people of India unitedly , devotedly and sincerely. It is not important whether AAP spreads it network outside Delhi to become National Party , more important is to prove that they can rule a small state like Delhi without much hallah-bullah. Party leaders should now stop preaching sermons to other political parties on moral standards or party discipline and should introspect whether they are following the same ethics and moral standards which they used to preach others before election.
AAP has to prove by action that they can perform better than other parties and Mr. Kejriwal is duty bound to motivate all leaders of the party to avoid taking help of media to prove their unique features or to keep their personal ego . Interest of party is much above that of individuals . And interest of people of Delhi is above the interest of individuals of the party and the part both.
People of Delhi were annoyed on Mr. Kejriwal when he left the post of Chief Minister last time only after 49 days of rule on flimsy ground. This time Mr. Kejriwal should not repeat the sad story of last victory. They should as such stop dreaming becoming National party and stop dreaming of dethroning Mr. Narendra Modi from the post of Prime Minister of India and concentrate on getting full success in their maiden Delhi experiment.