Battle lines drawn ahead of Aam Aadmi Party’s National Council meeting

NEW DELHI,Aradhna Wal: Aam Aadmi Party’s internal Lokpal Admiral Ramdas’s meeting with Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday evening could be the last effort to save the party’s fragile unity. Before the crucial National Council meeting of the party, on March 28, battle lines between the Prashant Bhushan-Yogendra Yadav ‘camp’ and the Arvind Kejriwal ‘camp’, are again emerging, despite non-stop negotiations between both sides. After the meeting, an emergency Parliamentary Affairs Committee meeting was called, purportedly for a response to, what sources say, are Ramdas’s suggestions on keeping the party together. The meeting also set the agenda for the NC meet.

Over the past few days, sources from both factions have disputed the idea of talks collapsing. A leader in Kejriwal’s camp recently said they were going “smoother than expected”. However, the same leader also admitted to a massive difference between “theory” and “practice”. There is tension and irritation in the Kejriwal camp, mostly made up of the Delhi AAP team, at Bhushan’s “idealism” when it comes to politics, as compared to the former’s hands on experience on the ground. Giving the example of the volunteers deciding on candidate selection, the leadersaid that an idealistic path where the means justify the end is not practical, if volunteers are swayed to elect a weak candidate.

Sources in the other camp also denied any major roadblocks but, indicating the Kejriwal camp, said that some people had made a mess of things by taking the fight to this level, by insisting on a vote in the March 4 national executive meet. The close vote may have got Bhushan and Yadav out of the PAC but exposed the deep rift within the party to the public. According to the sources, these people don’t understand Ramdas’s role as the lokpal either, which is why they unwisely pushed for his removal, after which the party had to issue an official denial of such a move.

The leader added that people like party leader Gopal Rai are pushing to give everyone space, and talks are aimed at ‘non-humiliating’ resolutions to each party. However, Kejriwal might not be open to this. He still hasn’t reached out to Bhushan. The leader admitted that Kejriwal had a pathological paranoia about Prashant and Shanti Bhushan. He added that Shanti Bhushan was completely disenchanted by Kejriwal, especially after donating Rs 2 crore to the party, and could get after him for the five years he is in power.

Meanwhile, AAP NC member from Punjab Ashok Talwar wrote a letter to Kejriwal Tuesday evening warning him of an informal meeting of NC members planned for March 27, calling it a conspiracy to “destabilise the party”. Talwar told DNA that he spoke to AAP leader HS Phoolka who, according to Talwar, endorsed his actions.

On Tuesday morning NC member from Rajasthan, Rajesh Parekh, on Twitter, had openly invited all members to this informal meeting. Another NC member from outside Delhi said that a large section of National Council members were alarmed at the prospect of AAP turning into a “one-man party”, therefore wanted to put together their opinions for the official one. The member said that people like Talwar were leaking their own letters to the media for publicity. They wanted two points of view to be allowed to exist in the party, for example, Kejriwal and Yadav’s differing opinions on state elections. It should be upto NC members to chose between them.

Posted by on March 26, 2015. Filed under Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.