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Kejriwal must broad-base the decision-making structures: Prashant Bhushan

New Delhi,GARGI PARSAI(TH): Aam Aadmi Party founding member Prashant Bhushan, who has been removed from the Political Advisory Committee, has said that he has no problem with Arvind Kejriwal being convener of the party but stressed that he should follow the “principles’’ on which it was founded.

Prashant Bhushan addresses the media in New Delhi.

“Arvind [Kejriwal] is the main leader of the party and therefore the national executive has unanimously decided he should continue as convener even after becoming Delhi Chief Minister.

However, we feel that the party needs to remain firm on its ideals and principles and needs to reform along those lines,” Mr Bhushan told The Hindu in an interview on Thursday, the first after being ousted from the PAC.

Asked if there was any substance in the charge that Mr. Kejriwal was surrounded by a “coterie,” Mr. Bhushan said although the AAP chief had several admirable qualities and political judgment, he must broad-base the decision-making structures “and have more people who have independent views and stand up to him.”

He felt that the decision to oust him and Yogendra Yadav was “unfortunate,” would tarnish the party’s image and had not gone down well with thousands of volunteers and supporters who want to see the party “united.”

Responding to the charge that AAP patron and his father Shanti Bhushan had hurt the party by praising Kiran Bedi during the Delhi elections, Mr. Bhushan said: “Those were his personal views and I disagreed and disagree with them.”

He stressed the point that the AAP was founded to change the nature of politics in the country and to bring about national reforms.

“The AAP cannot be a Delhicentric party and should spread its wings in the country.” Some of the founding principles that Mr. Bhushan would like Mr. Kejriwal to adhere include transparency, accountability and swaraj (decentralised democracy).”

Of course, whether to contest elections, when to contest elections are matters to be decided on various factors including preparedness.”

He was sure that Mr. Kejriwal did not have a different view on whether the party should contest elections in Bihar and Punjab. “But State units should be free to decide whether they should contest local body elections while Parliament and Assembly elections can be decided by the national unit.”

Scotching rumours about him leaving the party, he said he will would continue to play the role of somebody, ensuring that the party does not stray from its founding principles besides being the legal adviser.

As for the future of the AAP, he said it was bright. “In any new party, these kinds of problems can arise but in our kind of party we have to quickly set them right. The AAP has come to represent the hopes and aspirations of all idealistic people who want to see a different kind of politics and political culture in this country. The lakhs of people on whose idealism and blood and sweat this party was formed will not allow that dream to die.”

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