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6

AAP volunteer Milan Gupta has filed an RTI with the Election Commission and obtained the National Council Members list that Aam Aadmi Party should have published on their website and has not. Milan Gupta has made the list public.

Milan Gupta, a worker of Aam Aadmi Party has released the National Council member list that Aam Aadmi Party has not put up on its website and is calling out to supporters of Aam Aadmi Party to urge them to attend the National Council meeting and strive to save the party from its imminent sabotage. His video explains his credentials in the party (since anyone raising questions is termed as a BJP agent these days) and his message. The list follows below.

Making the AAP National Council official list public:Volunteers reveal what the office hides. ( http://goo.gl/4BIsLG )
______________________________

1) First image: is a scan of reply received from Election Commission asking the names of persons who came together to form AAP and AAP's date of formation.

(You should know that Article IV-F-a of AAP constitution mentions that "All those who come together to form the Party and are present in the first meeting of the Party, shall form the first National Council of the Party.")

Reply received says: Date of formation is 24.11.2012 and the names of persons required are in 957 pages of records. It can be obtained on payment of Rs 1914/-.

2) Second image : is the bundle of 957 pages of certified records that I received from Election Commission today after the payment. You are free to inspect these records for yourself at my address.

3) http://goo.gl/4BIsLG : The list of National Council members culled out from these records is on this public link now. It contains 295 National Council members only.

These papers will also be kept in front of the venue of National Council meeting on 28th March for anyone to inspect.

Milan Gupta
306,Plot 39B, Santosh Apartments,
Sector 6, Dwarka,
New Delhi -75
Election Commission reply to Milan Gupta's RTI seeking list of Members of National Council
Election Commission reply to Milan Gupta's RTI seeking list of Members of National Council

List of names:

Name
Arvind Kejriwal
Pankaj Gupta
Krishna Kant Sevada
Yogendra Yadav
Shanti Bhushan
Yogesh Dahiya
Vishvas Kumar Sharma @ Dr Kumar Vishwas
Manish Sisodia
Prashant Bhushan
Naveen JaiHind
Kishor Asthana
Mehmood Khan
Shazia Ilmi
Surender Singh
Rahul Mehra
K K Niyogi
Surajit Das Gupta
Vinita Deshmukh
Ajit Jha
Gopal Rai
Sanjay Singh
Mayank Gandhi
Madhu Bhaduri
Tapan Misra
Sanjay Kansal
Hubung Payong
Somnath Bharti
Sharad Singh Kumre
Waman R More
Kamal Shrivastav
Dedhia Chandubhai
Pratyush Kumar
Deepak Sane
Shailendra Kushwaha
Ved Prakash Balryia
Preeti Sharma
Sanjay Babubhai Parmar
Sandeep Nagori
Indra Vikram Singh
Jai Prakash
Kiran Upkare
Ibrahin Alimuddin Khan
Subhash Ware
Shweta Agarwal
R C Pathak
Vilas Rajput
Yogesh Manikrao Kanekar
Savarkar Ambrish
Rajesh Kumar Pugliya
Devendra Chandrasen Wankhede
Prafful Vora
Vidyadhar doshi
Nidhi Chandresh Trivedi
Vithal L Satav
Dr. Girdhar S Patil
Chandrakant Suvama
Neeta Sukhatanker
Vijayshree Khanivadekar
Ravi P Srivastava
Thakar S Bhaviben
Akshay Hunka
Manju Jain
Jagdish Parmar
Prahlad Pandey
Vinay Kadam
Bipul Dey
Alpana Malik
Mohammad Azad
Arun Kumar
Chandra Kala
Rajender Pal
Gopal Mohan
Aruna Singh
Shimla Shri
Archana
Dr. Mahesh vikram Singh
Vishal Sharma
Yogesh Kumar
Gyanendra
Iliaz Azmi
Yogesh Kumar S/o Sh Anand
Vaibhav
Satyendra
Sudhir Bhardwaj
Araresh Bajpai
Gaya Singh
Amarendra
Omendra Bharat
Moolchand
Sharad Raghuvanshi
Mehek Singh
Neena Jain
Manoj S/o SoorajBahn
Dr. Prem S Pahari
Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay
Ram Sumer
Dr. Atul Gupta
Cap. Srinivasalu Mekala
Pranjal Bordoloy
Anupama Sethy
Ratilal S Desai
Kishor N Desai
Parmar Pitambar
Mukesh Phoolchand Kothari
Gurpreet Singh Uppal
Sameer Sharma
Namrata Sharma
G Ranjith Kumar
Dr. R C Jaggi
Krishna K Solanki
Deep
Basant Hetamsariya
Rajendri w/o Tara Chand
Desh Raj
Sandeep Sandal
Salil Kumar
Hesamuddin Ansari
Dhiraj Kumar
Dharmendra Kumar
Anand Kumar
Suryadeb Pra Singh
Manjul Mayank Srivastava
Pradeep Kumar Singh
Dinesh Kumar Singh
Sunil Kumar Chipde
Neeraj Kumar
Rajendra Paswan
Ramnath Singh
Anup Singh
Rahul Gupta
Angesh Kumar
Gourav Singh
Sarita Singh
Kuldeep
Sushil Chauhan
Ruchika Manaktala
Ravi Shankar
Avinash Kumar Singh
Kuldeep Mudgil
Praveen Deshmukh
Maqsood Ul Hasan
Mohinder Goyal
Gobind Ram Choudhary
Shashi Kant Kumar
Shaleen Mitra
Madhuri Kashyap
Suryakant
Anil Kumar
Mohit Sharma
Shri Bhagwan
Kamlesh
Sakshi
Rajnish Verma
Neha
Munindra Singh
Satish Pandey
Ramniwas Gupta
Praveen Kumar Gupta
Narender Rathi
Sahajanand Rai
Rajesh Rishi
Omkar Shukla
Krishan Kumar Yadav
Jitendra Sharma
Nirupama Singh
Dimple Solanki
Bandana Kumari
Rajeev Kasewa
Ameek Ahmed
Dr. M. H. Ghazali
Rajesh Sharma
Asna Nausheen
Surinder Kumar
Devendra Sehrawat
Lenin
Praenjit Chakraborty
Harish Chandra Mane
Ajay Saxena
Ramesh Chandra
Anand Kumar Samal
Sayantan Panda
Narayan Manjhi
Diptiman Chattopadhyay
Chandra Mohan
Jahir Hussain
Upendra
Satish Sharma
Mohan Prasad
Rajesh Sharma
Narendra Singh
Christina Samy
Dhanada Kanta Mishra
Sumit Bhattacharjee
Prince Kumar Pathak
Krishna Moorthi
Harjot Singh Bains
Baljit Singh
Bhupendra Singh
Shahnaz Akhtar
Ramesh Kumar
Rajesh Jakhar
Dharam Veer Singh
Rajeev Godara
Lalit Kumar
Gurnaam Singh
Kuldeep Singh
Madan Puri
Ramjan
Sarita Oswal
Shankar Soni
Kirti Pathak
Gopi Lal
Prahlad Singh
Dr. Rakesh Parikh
Kuldeep
Prashant Kumar Ranasingha
Vijay Singh
Jafruddin
Sunil Agiwal
Ashok Talwar
Naveen Jeratha
Harinder Singh
Pawan Kumar
Ashawant Gupta
Shailendra Kumar
Ashok Kumar
Budha Nilesh Kumar
Naveen Kumar Mishra
Dalip Singh
Shivender Pratap Singh
Yusujaypehan Impiyakhan
Ratnesh Gupta
Rajesh Omprakash Mittal
Rajesh Mehta
Ashutosh Dutt
Ashish Garg
Anandaganeshan
Aravind Anand
Ashok Aggarwal
Anjali Damania
Avinish Sinha
Ankit Krishna Lal
Banamwar Sahu
Chegena Jee Chandra Sekhar
Dinesh Babulal Vaghela
Diwan Singh
Deepak Raj
Dilip Kumar Pandey
Durgesh Kumar
Gaurav Singh
Gunjan Kumar
Kuldeep
Kamaraj
Mamta Patra
Mangesh Dayaneshwar
Maruti Bhapkar
Manju Devi
Nishikant Mahapatra
Naresh Sharma
Naushar Ali
Naved
Narendra Kumar
Pawan Kumar
Pawan Kumar Pandey
Prithvi Reddy
Prabhakar Thyagrajan
Prashant
Praveen Kumar Gupta
Rahul Pandey
Ranjan Kumar Sahu
Rakesh Kumar Sinha
Raj Kumar Mishra
Sudesh Kumar Verma
Shailender
Subodh Sethi
Sanjeev Kumar Singh
Satish Pandey
Shyam Kumar
Sharwan Kumar
Sushil Kumar Kasyap
Siddhartha Sharma
Vinod Fotedar
Valmiki Nayak
Vipin Mittal
Vivek
Virendra Singh
Vandana
Vicky Sharma
Vikas Pandey
Laxman Singh
Manish Kumar
Abid Ullah Khan
Peeyush Nashine
Dinesh Mohaniya
Deepak Sarin

20

This post comes on request that I stop criticizing and make useful suggestions. So here it is. I don't think it will help though, which is why I didn't do it to begin with.

First and most important thing to understand is that this devastation of AAP is a result of a series of deliberate choices powered by intent. Till intent changes, in my view, this cannot be recovered from.

A bird's eye view of the conflict within AAP

The basic issue is a difference of opinion. Where you have people you have views and they may coexist with some views and not with others. A piece in Swarajya titled "Yadav and Bhushan shouldn't be complaining" outlines a difference of opinion that has been present in AAP all through and sees it essentially as a socialist versus libertarian thinking issue though it does not put it in so many words. For purposes of this piece, I'm calling the two sides pragmatic and intellectual. This was further confirmed with a phone conversations with leaders trying to convince me that the disastrous decision of the 4th was a necessary step and good for AAP. I am not that gullible, but the recurrence of specific names and the tag "socialist" was very insightful. It was equally evident that those who held these views, did not adequately appreciate the "socialist" side of the story.

The perception was that "these people" did not work, prefered to be impractical rather than find solutions, intellectualized too much, criticized AAP, and wanted to replace Kejriwal as the National Convenor. Apparently working for AAP is suddenly only campaigning on the ground and Yogendra Yadav's formidable studio presence is called twiddling thumbs.

What no one apparently recognizes is that it is precisely these socialists that had allowed AAP to look friendly to social rights movements around the country in the run up to the Lok Sabha Elections. It is these views that have attracted idealists to the party fold for the "pragmatic" people to harness with their rough and ready effectiveness. While it is true that the "pragmatic" side of AAP has worked very hard for the Delhi Election win, they have failed to appreciate what this intellectual side brought them. It brought with it a rigor of looking at issues in terms of process. Of articulating complex ideas in a coherent manner. Of bringing dignity to the reputation the "pragmatic" side was rapidly gaining for reckless accusations. Yogendra Yadav in particular was spectacular at presenting the often chaotic AAP view in a refined manner on the fly. It brought AAP legitimacy as people who also have sound thinking - beyond mere good intentions.

This is not to say that there was no arrogance or behavior perceived as hostile. Intellectuals are often superior about their quality of understanding of issues (and I am not doubting that quality at all) and can tend to be dismissive of views they do not see as adequately refined. For example, ground up Swaraj is exactly that. Without it, there is no democracy. It must be done and while not done, we are false to our claims - to the point of not deserving a victory based on them? It is simply a trait - and an asset to a party like AAP, till someone goes and makes a big problem by pitting against it it, because the logic is likely to be unassailable - as we still see playing out in their calm statements to media. On the other hand, it is nice when intellectuals are adult enough to know that they can be difficult and to compensate.

For a while, AAP thrived from the diversity. The communication skills of the likes of Khetan did brilliantly with actions like the Delhi Dialogue, the exuberance of volunteers worked for the flash mobs or whatever, while Yadav and others created a formidable credibility by coherently articulating emotional zeal on a day to day basis. There was a lot of work done, and people fit well into their roles and did it. And it is because all did their best that AAP did its best. To own credit and treat those you dislike as deadweight will destroy unity.

The trouble with the differences in AAP

While the pragmatic side of the leadership was on a clear goal of doing whatever it took to get a victory in Delhi as an issue of the party's survival itself, the"socialists" were insistent on clear process. This was a divergence of method. Sticklers for the method could not tolerate cutting corners while those who had set their sights on the win were uncaring of the compromises they may have to take to make it happen - they may have believed it as a temporary deal with the devil, so to say, in order to achieve a larger goal.

This issue appears to be more with Prashant Bhushan than Yogendra Yadav. He is believed to have threatened press conferences leading to some difficult ego management in a party stressed about getting the win to happen.

While it takes two hands to clap, the clarity of ideas allowed Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan to uphold their side of the issue in a relatively dignified manner. If they were in a rivalry, it was specific and refined and on a relatively narrow band and completely invisible outside the party. Even their interviews after being removed only add dignity to AAP's values, while those opposed to them are increasingly sounding demented.

Methods of rivalry

Whether it is genuine good innocence and intentions or whether it is skill and cunning, whatever the rivalry the intellectuals had with the pragmatics, they managed to keep it low key. Press conferences may have been threatened, but they never happened. Yogendra Yadav was on Prime Time TV daily and never spoke or acted in a manner that showed AAP in a bad light. If either of them wanted to harm the party - with the access, visibility and stature they had, they would succeed without doubt. So whatever their ill intent that was raising the hackles of others, it did not harm the party, but strengthened it.

On the other hand, those acting against them have acted in poor spirit. Manish Sisodia's letter and Yogendra Yadav's reply to it is when this first spilled into the public domain. It is impossible to determine who leaked them and futile to make accusations without basis. If you read the letters, it is evident that Manish Sisodia made a personal attack on Yogendra Yadav alone for a dispute between two people. The letter was hostile, superior and showed Sisodia in  poor light. It being leaked added to the damage, but even known to very few people, it would still show Sisodia acting to create hostility within the organization.

Words we have are a sort of wardrobe. You wear silk to a date, jeans on a picnic and you need to know when and how to dress. Sisodia had not bothered. Either he was unable to, or he did not think Yogendra Yadav merited civility, quite forgeting that in the process he was also addressing a senior member of the party he professes to be committed to. Yogendra Yadav's reply only drove the point home by not responding to provocation and instead taking a thoughtful and introspective tone way more appropriate to the situation AAP was in after the Lok Sabha defeat than what Sisodia was using. He completely refused to be drawn into the personal mud slinging - which in turn allowed the letters to look like open communication between leaders worthy of respect rather than a catfight, which is what Sisodia had started.

If AAP volunteers found Prashant Bhushan or Yogendra Yadav difficult as it is now being implied, they showed greater maturity than the leadership by never letting it spill on the party's image. If they didn't, well that would just make it yet another unsubstantiated allegation in a fast growing pile. The letter by Admiral Ramdas leaked, but the tone of both was clearly enriching for the party and neither raised any serious alarm that would harm the image of AAP.

The really unforgivable thing happened on the first of March. There was abrupt dismissal of social media admins. Thus the first casualty of this war on Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were actually bystander loyal role holders of Aam Aadmi Party who have no complaints against them and a lot of selfless service to their credit. The pragmatics just turned them into nobodys without explanation or gratitude. There is still no explanation provided for why their permissions were revoked without warning as though dismissing unimportant people.

Then came the organized slander campaign against Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav that was based on a series of allegations with zero evidence. Perhaps without the attack on loyal and completely innocent workers handling social media, there would be some basis to inclination to take unsubstantiated accusations against Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav as unavoidably urgent or necessary. But the completely unfair and disrespectful treatment of the admins to effect the hijack, combined with the unethical, inappropriate and immensely damaging use of the official handle to slander founders of the party cooked the goose of the pragmatics well before the meeting.

You cannot expect those who invest blood sweat and tears into creating anything to feel charitable about those destroying it. And that is exactly what is playing out. AAP volunteers are organizing against leaders they were devoted to with a ruthlessness that is as breathtaking as it is admirable. They are fighting for their beautiful creation to survive.

Another ethical (and legal) boundary that had been crossed with a "sting" operation of the journalist who published the story fell flat. Other journalists present with her had not filed stories with the damning data and one also denied that it was provided by Yogendra Yadav. On the other hand, many volunteers pointed out that the phone call itself appeared to be rehearsed. The sting that was used to base the only allegation against Yogendra Yadav not just fell flat, it exposed AAP for using illegal methods to monitor leaders and media. The venom that was now openly flooding against Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan has been revolting to even stray onlookers, let alone those who gave money and time to AAP and were now watching in dismay.

The opaque National Executive meeting that provided a result AAP volunteers explicitly didn't want still did not warn the arrogant people trying to manipulate reality to their will. But by now the volunteers were beyond hope and pleas. They were furious. They organized rapidly, demanding answers. Anjali Damania's accusations against Yogendra Yadav wanting to contest Haryana were countered with links to news reports of her announcing that AAP would contest in Maharashtra after Kejriwal refused. Campaigns demanding answers were organized. Other volunteers monitored the volunteer mood about the decision and more.

The leaders caught on the wrong foot had already had to retract slanderous tweets, but had no response to questions about procedure as well as questions raised by Prashant Bhushan about party democracy. They chose to keep repeating slander as though that was why volunteers were angry and the thing escalated to the point of people speaking the inside story exposing the leaders and how hey were acting against the interest of AAP.

AAP volunteer sentiment analysis
AAP volunteer sentiment analysis

When those still unwilling to open their eyes and smell the roses alleged that BJP was manipulating the results with bogus voting, volunteers started yet another survey of registered donors - since AAP has not released a list of volunteers, donation data is the only way they have of identifying genuine supporters.

Attacking Prashant Bhushan for Shanti Bhushan's actions was not appreciated, a planted story showing Shalini Gupta acting against party interest boomeranged when NRI volunteers denied getting it and then those who had got it releasing the Original email trail regarding accusations against Shalini Gupta which was not at all as offensive as the selected excerpts planted.Volunteers trying to hold AAP together being called fake was an outright slap in their faces. These were people who had spent time online, on the ground, working media, donating, making calls..... treated like the enemy.

The Delhi AAP handle was used to issue a press release with more slander against Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav and volunteers exploded. That Press Release has hundreds of critical comments verging from polite and disappointed to furious. If anyone liked that release, it is tough to notice in the river of rage in the comments.

It is a difficult place to recover from, even if possible. The arrogance is so profound and the damage it has done so vast that it is difficult to say that AAP can continue united - or even that it should, given the lack of ability to coexist.

What could be a way forward?

A good organizational development consultant could help resolve conflicts and coach basic skills for engaging respectfully with diversity. This cannot be recommended enough if AAP wants to recover. The consultant should NOT be an AAP volunteer/member but a real, independent one who is not stuck lower in the hierarchy from those s/he facilitates.

Dissolving the PAC and forming it afresh can bring some sense of justice. It is also democratically inappropriate to legitimize what is left standing and reinstating Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav will cause resumption of hostility triggers among those who kicked them out.

Lifting of all gags and guaranteeing that stating opinions will not bring retaliation. This is the leading fear among the dissenting volunteers.

Investigating and removing from authority EVERYONE who demonstrably acted against party interest - including people who hijacked the rights of others as well as Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav - though volunteers have pretty much shredded the allegations by now.

Norms must be created by means of which no people can have the authority to act against their equals unilaterally - that implies some being more equal than others. This means that conflict between leaders must be resolved through the Lokpal or by appealing to Kejriwal or referendum with volunteers, and not some leaders acting against those they want to target. Whether they take a vote or read tea leaves is immaterial. Disputes must not be solved by targeting one side - this is what has brought AAP to this point.

Prosecuting various illegal and unethical actions - illegal phone recording, planting stories in media, putting up communal posters... with the Lokpal and legal cases.

APOLOGIZING to dissenting volunteers - democracy really wasn't a terrible thing to ask for given AAP's ad campaigns.

Instituting organizational structures as promised, including methods to take feedback from volunteers. Is it not ironic that the party that claims Swaraj not just had no mechanism for volunteers to register dissent, but when they self organized and formed their own platform, they got disowned! Also things like putting up lists of volunteers, minutes of meetings, accounts and more. I imagine much healing can happen if volunteers are apologized to and invited to help bring AAP on track by creating these things.

=========================================

There. I have written the post. But I think volunteers underestimate the AHANKAR of those controlling the party right now. Apologies are not going to happen. Accountability and punishment for slander is not going to happen. I have no idea how this post will help you, but I have promised support out of respect, so here it is.

4

In the National Executive (NE) meeting yesterday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) removed Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from their Political Affairs Committee (PAC). This action comes after a long growing rift within the party, which some staunch Kejriwal followers sneeringly referred to as "socialists". Another explained that the party was socialist overall, but these people called themselves socialist - or whatever that is.

[tweetthis]Leaders of AAP's Delhi state unit are bringing disgrace to the party with their unfounded and toxic witchhunt.[/tweetthis]

There are several allegations against the duo that have been brought out into the open by the party in ways that do more to reveal the ugly methods to achieve political objectives than shed light on the supposed crimes of Prashant Bhushan or Yogendra Yadav. Addressing some here.

Yogendra Yadav is ambitious

This accusation coming from the blind supporters of the person who has not let ultimate power rest in any hands other than his own since the birth of the party is so absurd as to make no sense. In a party claiming to be against high command, it would be logical to expect that once Arvind Kejriwal was Chief Minister, someone else would take over the party's command. Not even BJP and Congress have this kind of singular control over power. Without ambition, AAP wouldn't exist. It now appears that the sole ambition to lead must be Kejriwal's and all other ambitions must be to support. I see nothing wrong in expecting Arvind Kejriwal to resign.

Yogendra Yadav made a public spectacle of differences in the party.

This is not true. Manish Sisodia started the public accusations game (READ THESE AGAIN) in the wake of the Lok Sabha Elections disaster with a public letter criticizing Yogendra Yadav for his differences with Naveen Jai Hind. The very fact that Yogendra Yadav alone got what amounted to an "expose" of inappropriate behavior for a spat between two people shows which side of that spat Manish Sisodia fell on. Yogendra Yadav's reply to this letter STATES HIS PREFERENCE to keep this quiet and replies with generic but important issues plaguing AAP - the questions raised in this letter were never addressed to the best of my knowledge. Incidentally, Naveen Jai Hind has continued his vicious vendetta against Yogendra Yadav to date and it is currently widening fissures in Haryana AAP.

Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav threatened press conferences, sabotaged party campaign

I have not seen evidence of this. Raising questions where party is clearly going wrong, in my eyes amounts to support of the party and not sabotage. If these questions raised repeatedly are never answered, while the opposite claims are made in public, it would be the duty of any honest person to be the whistleblower - incidentally something AAP respects a lot except in own party. Several Kejriwal supporters have claimed that "Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav had to be constantly managed to not harm AAP." Considering that Prashant Bhushan could draw attention to anything he said any time and Yogendra Yadav was routinely appearing for the party in national media, this accusation is absurd.

If they wanted to damage the party, they could have done it any time. What they appear to be doing is raising urgent and genuine questions about party functioning to strengthen the party - which got managed by shutting them up over and over and the problems remain. These questions have been asked by me as well as many others who thought AAP actually was being honest about its values. The Kejriwal faction clearly appears to be fine with the lack of democracy as long as they get power in Delhi. The damage to AAP does not appear to be a concern, since the core circle of power is sitting lush with self importance right now and have no wish to contest further elections. It appears that this is being projected as "socialist" - a disturbing echo of BJP's contempt for democracy.

This is about greed for Rajya Sabha seats

So what if it is? Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan have both acted in the interest of the party. Denying seats is very different from running a public vilification campaign against them. One is a party decision, the other is party sabotage.

Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav have embarrassed the party publicly

Increasingly, the much acclaimed honesty of the Aam Aadmi Party appears to be the "appearance" of honesty rather than actions of honesty. If dishonesty in a party committed to honesty is exposed, it is an opportunity for reform. If dishonesty in a con is exposed, it is a trigger to shoot the messenger. In my view, a party that doesn't follow appropriate decision making procedures but makes big claims of representative democracy is dishonest. This was also reflected in their all male cabinet, independently of any influence or accusations by either Prashant Bhushan or Yogendra Yadav. When a senior party leader has communal posters put up, while the party claims to fight communalism, it is dishonesty. For an honest party, the embarrassment is that these things happened, for AAP, the embarrassment appears to be that these things got exposed. It is like saying "it is okay to steal as long as you don't get caught" - a far cry from the advertised adamant principled stands.

Prashant Bhushan wanted a post for his sister.

So what? The question ought to be one of merit, yes? Last piece of propaganda was all about merit determining this - and all the people making the accusations actually didn't have an issue of merit about her. As for family members, I hear Ankit Lal wanted a ticket for his wife that Yogendra Yadav didn't allow? Notice how he hasn't been kicked as head of social media for wanting it.

Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav interfered with the candidate selection process

[tweetthis]Where did AAP follow its much claimed candidate selection process that Bhushan or Yadav interfered?[/tweetthis]

What candidate selection process? From the much hyped start, we have seen people walk into the party to get seats. If they flagged names for scrutiny and two candidates actually had to be withdrawn, it only shows that their concerns were legitimate. Perhaps the Kejriwal club wanted to run with the problem candidates for reasons of their own?

Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan supported AVAM

I have said this before and I say it again. If an argument has merit, it has merit. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Regardless of who incites and who funds. While the mysterious 2 crore funding was not illegal, it was clearly dubious that no one in AAP has any idea of who gave so much money. For a party that made a huge fuss about donations received on social media, not a single day reported such a massive donation. I had independently asked Ankit Lal about this and he explained that only online donations get reported on social media. I went to the extent of asking him to confirm the payment with their accounts with bank, as they could just as easily be planted if the website got hacked.

Regardless, it seems rather strange that no one celebrated such massive donations received in a day for a party that got thousands of tweets celebrating a few lakhs received routinely. This amnesia is rather strange, even if not illegal for the party and does raise questions of who exactly this mysterious donor is to donate such a massive amount without anyone noticing. More importantly, even after the controversy broke, there is no attempt to find out the source of the donation - which to me indicates that the source is known to those who matter and can order an investigation. So I don't see AVAM's questions as entirely irrelevant, though their timing was certainly mischievous and motivations unknown.

If people raising questions about party functioning gravitate toward others raising questions about party functioning, I don't see this as a conspiracy so much as long festering questions that are important enough for people to persist in seeking answers and raising the pressure. To dismiss them as anti-party activity is as good as saying expecting transparency from AAP is against the party culture - regardless of TV studio claims.

Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were hungry to contest elections

Unless it is only Delhi that needed the oh-so-honest party, I fail to see the problem with this. The Lok Sabha defeat was more because of Kejriwal's stunts in Varanasi that appropriated party resources disproportionately to fight from a deliberate position of disadvantage AND key speeches ignoring what AAP was promising to focus on random allegations and accusations. If he'd stayed in Delhi, there would be far more people in the Lok Sabha today. But a growing conspiracy theory says that this was pre-planned, just like the BJP sweep of UP was pre-planned. This is further supported by the fact that a disproportionate number of bogus voters found in Varanasi has not led to so much as a whimper of protest or call for repolling by Aam Aadmi Party. 6.5 lakh duplicate names in a constituency with 17 lakh voters can hardly be a "mistake".

Incidentally, the push to contest Lok Sabha Elections nationwide is what got Kejriwal the flood of volunteers from all over India, arriving to saturate the Delhi Campaign on the ground. They immediately got thanked in the form of "Thanks for Delhi, but we won't be contesting in your area, we will focus on delivering here." All of a sudden the government that claims to have delivered miracles in 49 days is in a desperate rush to be able to deliver its promises at all in five years to the point of not finding any women worthy of delivering them and the chap holding the ultimate leadership not even attending an NE meet as crucial as this one (but has time to handle party responsibilities if Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav and their pesky questions are removed).

Obviously Kejriwal can't do both. And he can't let go of power enough to let the party grow either.

The bottom line is clear. Kejriwal & Co have got what they wanted. Now they intend to enjoy it and ignore any questions raised because no one can do a thing to them anymore. Not the people of Delhi, not supporters, members or donors of the party. If they all turned against him, they still can't do a thing for the next five years. Accountability is no longer an issue. Kejriwal has no time for anything except... um... 10 days delivering promises to Bangalore district of Delhi. The rest was a fantasy woven to con enough people into donating and supporting.

Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav got removed democratically

This is complete nonsense. If Arvind Kejriwal not only clings to power, but uses the affection people have for him as a weapon to influence party decisions, it is not democratic. If Kejriwal submitted a resignation as National Convenor and refused to withdraw it unless Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were removed, it is emotional blackmail. Plain and simple. It is a misuse of the affection people have for him to use their wish to continue following him to eliminate people from positions of power. It is not democratic to request Mayank Gandhi to refrain from voting and Mayank doing so raises questions about his commitment to party democracy as well. The replacement of the representative from Rajasthan was clear cut "vote rigging". After all this tamasha, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were defeated by a mere three votes. Democratic my foot.

[tweetthis]The ouster of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from the PAC is brute eviction of dissenting minority.[/tweetthis]

If the NE decision actually represented the views of the party, there wouldn't be supporters still using "paanch saal Kejriwal" pictures for their profiles furious about the ouster of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. Staunch supporters have abruptly stopped. This was a wrong decision on every level. You can rig "democracy", you cannot make a decision that doesn't reflect the interests of those it claims to to "feel" right.

With this decision, the Aam Aadmi Party has openly shed the burden of ethics weighing it down for so long. With five years of government secure, and Kejriwal in no mood or need to contest anything anymore, the Kejriwal camp has simply abandoned the party in the rest of the country with their reckless actions for ego.

In the process, what the AAP seems to have forgotten in their intoxication with themselves is that governments come and go. Five years is not very long in the life of a nation. An anti-corruption party targeting Prashant Bhushan with an underhanded hate campaign and removing him from the PAC is its own one sentence self-explanatory story.

1

There seems to be a fringe theory floating around about a larger international conspiracy (CIA etc) influencing Indian politics using the Ford Foundation (among other things). The Great Game India blog (linking to blog because too many interlinked posts to link individually) has been with this train of thought for a few years now. That the RSS creation VIF is manipulating Indian politics and that they started the India Against Corruption movement and so on. They link the Aam Aadmi Party with this larger political conspiracy.

Some of it is verifiably true. The Vivekananda International Foundation was indeed formed in the year after the Vivekananda Kendra got a grant from the Ford Foundation. Manish Sisodia, Kejriwal and others have got grants before the IAC movement and so on.

Some of it is only to be expected and verifiable through sources outside the country for example the US and CIA specifically not being interested in manipulating  a country the size of India makes no sense given their actions world over. There are leaks involving spying. The Great Game India Blog itself has provided considerable evidence of Mossad activity in India based on reports in Indian media including diamond mafia links and raising questions about Israeli role in the 26/11 attacks.

While there are many gaps in the logic that don't allow me to agree with many questions they make, the sheer effort they put into to reference their claims makes it important to at least consider the question with an open mind when they ask "Was AAP victory in Delhi Elections Planned?". The claim being that it was a larger part of a game plan all through to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister and Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister.

My views on this are mixed.

Observations that point to the possibility of scripted wins in Lok Sabha Elections for Modi and in Delhi Elections for Arvind Kejriwal

Both these results would not have been possible without the self-destruction of the other just prior to the polls.

It is likely they would still have formed governments, but If the Aam Aadmi Party had not collapsed so thoroughly after discrediting the Congress, the landslide win for Modi would not be possible. The run up to the Lok Sabha Election saw the Aam Aadmi Party pretty much drop everything to find God and criticize Modi.

And the BJP returned the favor for the Delhi Elections. We saw Narendra Modi and Amit Shah go out of their way to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" as a disgusted supporter put it. Would the Aam Aadmi Party have won anyway? Probably, but 67 seats out of 70? Highly unlikely.

Is there any advantage to these sweeping wins in terms of manipulating India? Definitely. Complete lack of opposition leaves one entity controlling what is done without question.

"Kejriwal for CM, Modi for PM" slogan

This slogan is fascinating, because BJP supporters had used it to woo AAP supporters during the Lok Sabha Elections, and AAP supporters almost used it to woo BJP supporters in the Delhi Assembly elections. The Aam Aadmi Party actually put it up on their website before outraged volunteers made them take it down again.

Kiran Bedi as CM candidate

While many paint this as a move to get some credibility to a discredited BJP, it is impossible that those who crafted the IAC had no idea just how absurd and damaging to credibility Kiran Bedi can be. This was a calculated move to demoralize the Delhi BJP leaders. Dr Harshvardhan, who had been a face of credibility was available and unused, so to say, while Satish Upadhyay did not even get a ticket.

BJP's "abandonment" of the Sikhs

Arvind Kejriwal had reopened investigations into the 1984 ant-Sikh riots. The BJP had made vague and unc0nvincing comments. This definitely lost them Sikh votes. Yet yesterday, a day after the results of Delhi election, the BJP government in the Center announced another SIT (Special Investigating Team) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. If this was their intention, it is rather astonishing that they did not do it before the Delhi Elections.

Religious alienation

There seemed to be a checklist of religions to alienate. Muslims were easy, with the "Ramzadon and Haramzadon" stuff. Churches were vandalized. Sikhs were ignored and BJP's most dependable vote bank - Hindus were achieved with absurd dictates to Hindu women to produce 4, 5 or upto 10 children (depending on which idiot you happened to hear). It was almost the exact reverse of BJP's calculated propaganda to target identities to con into supporting.

Why BJP may want to lose Delhi Assembly Elections 2015

There is an article by this name circulating. This article is fascinating, because of several reasons. It outlines a diabolical game plan to make Aam Aadmi Party responsible for its own failure and eventual decimation by making delivering of promises difficult from the Center. The intent being "The media spotlight on Kejriwal government will allow Jaitley to quietly to push through unpopular reforms — disinvestment of PSUs, budget cuts in health, education in his attempt to cut budget deficit." among other things. Do read. A fascinating article. Also probably untrue for the Delhi BJP and supporters at the very least - the Modi cartels in the center apart.

My guess is BJP Delhi is discovering what Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena, Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan, Telangana and many others discovered after raising Modi to his lofty Lok Sabha victory. What Vidarbha is discovering after bringing BJP to power in Maharashtra. The goals and agenda of those "driving" the BJP have little to do with those of supporters or even their expectations when they supported.

There are other smaller pieces of information from news reports and more that fit into these patterns. Like information for exposes on Delhi BJP leaders coming from leaders within the BJP itself.

What do I think?

In my view, politics is rarely so black and white with a single agenda playing out. Where there is power, there are grabs. Is there a longer game plan involving the VIF? I believe so. Is Aam Aadmi Party a part of the plan? Not so sure.

The Aam Aadmi Party, in my observation was formed when BJP tried to bottle the IAC genie before it got too inconvenient and expected them to not be corrupt as well. Till then, the IAC had the strong backing of the RSS and BJP. For all its claims of being an apolitical movement and it probably was, in terms of the leadership of the movement, the amount of support on the ground it got from the RSS and BJP cannot be denied. In many places, "IAC" protests were organized by BJP offices, often right outside the office, where most of the speeches made a point of praising the BJP while criticizing UPA corruption.

Was Anna Hazare complicit? Many in the Congress claim so. Particularly after he praised Modi before hastily withdrawing his statements. He may have been influenced by the support rather than doing the influencing.

However, it cannot be denied that there was an abundance of VIF-RSS-BJP support, which eventually led to an ideological clash. Those in the IAC who were not willing to exempt the BJP would have to find other means of going about their agenda, because they could very likely no longer count on the support of the BJP machinery to hold nationwide protests (which took Anna and Kejriwal by surprise initially).

Thus, the Aam Aadmi Party being a VIF-RSS-BJP creation sounds a bit outside the realm of probability. However, it is almost guaranteed that there were people planted in the party right from the start. It is simply how the RSS operates. These people may have been able to influence the actions of the party to a greater or lesser degree or simply attack from within at inopportune times. So AAP actions could have played into a larger game plan UNKNOWINGLY - for example during the aftermath of the Ambani FIR and subsequent resignation of the Arvind Kejriwal government or the Lok Sabha Election.

We saw AAP leaders and volunteers "defect" for no apparent reason. The stated reasons of a lack of internal democracy or whatever the accusations were, were hardly something to have cropped up at specific times - they would be a part of the party culture that they didn't appear to have a problem with till the time to leave - within days of each other. So it looks more than a coincidence. Given the complicit media promoting all and sundry quitters as "ex-AAP leaders" and in one instance calling an "ex-AAP leader" a representative of AAP in a programme that had no one from AAP on the panel, it seems to be organized and given visibility in a time when media was openly called "Modified".

Also, AAP being a US-Israel conspiracy seems a little more improbable, because I cannot recollect offhand the last time these forces empowered "communist" ideology to empower their agendas. It is counterproductive to the US-Israel agenda for people who don't like "imperialists" to get too much voice - which is a sentiment often shared by Aam Aadmi Party supporters - while they are not actively against, they have a perception of being unwilling to bow to imposed interests or disproportionate or unjust appropriation of national resources by big business.

Thirdly, the US-Israel lobby almost always rattles up countries by empowering the right wing. We also see this in action with the occasional comments of right wing leaders that are in agreement with these two countries as well as the larger tendency - for example being fine with attacks on Hindus by the right wing Buddhists in Sri Lanka or on Rohingya Muslims in Burma or even a VIF member meeting the top right wing terrorist influencer in Pakistan and endorsing him on Indian television channels. A lot of the anti-Muslim propaganda arguments and methods used by the Hindutva brigade are extremely similar to Israeli propaganda. Right from selective history to demonize, to organized social media propaganda.

There are no such "behavioral" corelations with the Aam Aadmi Party that I have noticed so far. There is disproportionate weightage to Ford Foundation as funding anti-national interest. While it would hardly be surprising that the CIA uses front organizations or makes opportunistic use of genuine organizations, it is a little extreme to imagine that all its funding is proof of destabilization. The same with the Magsaysay awards. Only a complete idiot would imagine that P. Sainath is somehow working to further US imperial capitalist interest in India given how much time he has devoted to deconstructing such influences.

Of course, it could "all" be astroturfing. But it isn't useful intellectually to believe something that goes contrary to observable dynamics just because it is possible.

This of course does not exclude the possibility of influencing or otherwise manipulating.

Role of Shanti Bhushan

Shanti Bhushan is a respected lawyer and ex politician of BJP and close to Jaitley as well as one of the founders of the Aam Aadmi Party. He made a donation of one crore rupees to the Aam Aadmi Party, but almost every time he has come to attention since then, it has been for damaging the interest of AAP. Just before the Lok Sabha Election, an article "by Shanti Bhushan" was published in India Today, which he claimed to not have written and it was subsequently taken down. Many of the things said in that article continue to be attributed to him in recent interviews, though he denies writing it.

A "breakaway faction" or "collective of ex-supporters" of Aam Aadmi Party, the AVAM, which has made news with absurd allegations against the AAP appear to enjoy his support. More recently, in answer to some questions I asked after a stray remark by an AAP supporter caught my eye, several AAP volunteers shared privately (since they cannot provide proofs and he's a respected and senior member) that he had been in favor of AAP's overreach in contesting in the Lok Sabha polls, which was possibly the single biggest factor in AAP's defeat.

Whether Shanti Bhushan has an ulterior motive or whether he was simply easily influenced by inconvenient narratives is difficult to say and irrelevant at this point, but he does appear to be a consistent source of damage for AAP, including often reported disapproval of Arvind Kejriwal as the leader.

The curious case of Shazia Ilmi

If there is anyone who topped Shanti Bhushan in damage to AAP, it is Shazia Ilmi. The only two "sting" videos to do real damage to AAP credibility involve her. The first appears to show her providing methods to make donations to AAP off the record. The second is where she supposedly asks Muslims to be communal. Whether these were genuine mistakes and she was targeted for stings because she was observed to be careless with words or if she was corrupt or if she was setting AAP up cannot be said. But other common factors seems to be an inopportune exit, affiliation with the "apolitical" AVAM (the RSS is apolitical as well, for a benchmark), new affiliation with the BJP - incidentally a party she leveled outrageous insults at, including personal insults aimed at Modi - some of which even me, an open Modi critic would cringe at.

Binny seems to be more of an opportunist who wanted a way to easy power and got his hopes dashed, who later found enough "appreciation" from BJP. BJP is unlikely to ever give him a cabinet seat either.

All this is water under the bridge. merely stating as an example of how while the AAP as a party may not be "in" on any conspiracy agendas, there is no telling how many people committed to other agendas are embedded inside, who influence or sabotage the actions of the party to suit.

The RSS machine is an expert at subversive strategy and poor at accountability. Sooner or later, disillusionment was inevitable, because there is only so much you can tell people that Acche Din are here, if their lives don't get easier or actually get more expensive. They are smart enough to deploy propaganda at key times and let disillusionment happen in the interim.

So can the Aam Aadmi Party government be trusted?

It would be the height of gullibility to blindly trust ANY political party. Whether the AAP has an ulterior motive or not is irrelevant. It has abundant gaps where more refinement of policy is needed in order for their actions to not harm people's interest. The bottom line always ought to be whether the ACTIONS are helping people or not - regardless of motives or intent.

The AAP has some protection from outright damaging citizen's interests simply because it cannot stand without its volunteer base, and it is impossible to have a conspiracy large enough to include thousands of volunteers and still keep it secret. So even if there are foul agendas at play, implementing them would be an uphill task. That said, it wouldn't be impossible, and only the foolish would believe that all that it takes to receive good governance is casting a vote.

The Aam Aadmi Party government has been entrusted with making Delhi a happier, safer place where all its citizens can thrive. This is a tall order. And if the AAP is honest, spotting mistakes and objecting on time will HELP their objectives. If it is not honest, spotting mistakes on time and objecting may improve chances to prevent them.

Regardless, citizens should not trust governments, but hold them accountable, relentlessly.

While media predicts doom and gloom with barely concealed "I told you so"s and Aam Aadmi Party volunteers wring their hands and wonder what fate lies in store for the party, I have seen the emergence of two letters between Manish Sisodia and Yogendra Yadav as an extremely positive sign about the party. The advent of digital communication may have added convenience, but a downside is that this is one era from which personal communications of leaders providing an insight into their vision are missing. Candid discussion and reflections on issues crucial to organizations and countries now happen out of sight.

In my view, these two letters speak of the Aam Aadmi Party's resilience and ability to return to its core values. In a time when lack of communication and invisibility of any leader other than Kejriwal speaking independently on issues of policy plague the Aam Aadmi Party, these letters come like a breath of fresh air. While transparent dialogue, warts and all between leaders may alarm those grown comfortably "unique" in the opaque mold of India's cult like politics, these letters stand witness that there is more to AAP than Arvind Kejriwal alone and there is a diversity of leadership that does not fear to speak their highest truths in view of the Party's interest.

Letter by Manish Sisodia to Yogendra Yadav.

Respected Yogendra Bhai!

Over the last 15 days, an ugly spat has developed between you and Naveen Jai Hind. The unfortunate part is that the two of you have been fighting your personal battles in public and through media forums. This is continuously damaging the party. What is even more unfortunate and sad is that you wanted disciplinary action taken against Naveen Jai Hind, and when you did could not have your way, you dragged Arvind (Kejriwal) into the fight.

You have alleged that Arvind does not listen to the advice of the PAC. It is surprising to read this allegation in your email because Arvind has always supported you. Indeed, so long he was listening to you, you were full of praise for him. For example, your decision to contest from Gurgaon was opposed by many members of PAC. But Arvind not only supported you, he got everybody on board on your candidature. Arvind was democratic then. Even before that, when you wanted to be in-charge of Haryana and the party's chief ministerial candidate, several PAC members opposed it. Even then, Arvind had supported you, and in your eyes Arvind was democratic.

Now that the party has reached the stage it has, the party workers are talking about the fight between you and Naveen Jai Hind. Even two days before you resigned from the PAC, a fight broke out between you and Jai Hind in front of party workers. You want Arvind to take strong action against Naveen Jai Hind, but the fact that he is not supporting you on this, has made him dictatorial (supremo) in your eyes.

After the fall of the Delhi government, a survey done on your instructions projected that the party would get 23% votes in Haryana. However, six weeks after that, the party got mere 3% votes under your leadership. The reasons for this have to be analyzed. Now that the PAC and party workers want an answer to why did this slide take place, you are trying to divert the issue by labelling Arvind as dictatorial.

Arvind was strictly against AAP contesting elections across the country. He wanted the party to concentrate on Delhi for a few years. However, you and some other members favoured contesting elections all over the country. The result is in front of us.

Naveen Jai Hind is an old and trusted colleague. Like you, he too has braved police lathis during agitations. The poor results of Haryana and the fight between you and Naveen need to be addressed and analyzed urgently. However, by resigning through an email which went public, and now again by writing public emails, you are trying to skirt the issue and drag Arvind into the controversy.

Yogendra Bhai, politics of truth means winning the hearts of the people and respect of the party workers. Your behaviour in the last 15 days has left me deeply saddened. You are wise enough to understand this. Unfortunately, instead of coming to party meetings, you are busy with politics of letter-writing. I don't understand what you want to prove with these emails. Do you want to finish off the party? Do you want to win your personal battle with Naveen or do you want to finish off Arvind?

Yours truly, Manish Sisodia

Yogesh Yadav's response to Manish Sisodia's letter

Dear colleagues,

I write to follow up on my email of 31st May resigning from the PAC. I had sent my letter by email but was requested by the entire PAC to come and explain the reasons for my resignation. The PAC gave me a very patient and courteous hearing. I wanted this to remain within the organization and refused to speak to the media. As a result there was some confusion about my decision. Some reported that I had resigned from the party, some linked my decision to other trivial matters. Many friends have been calling me up for clarification. So I thought I should at least spell out the main issues that led to my resignation. This might also help our discussions in the proposed meeting of the NE, now confirmed for 6-8 June.

The heart of the matter is the decision making process within our party. Our party stands for swaraj, for bottom-up, participatory decision making. We do so because we believe that remote decision making by a few powerful people is bad, even if the decision makers are well-intentioned. We seem to have forgotten that basic idea when it comes to decision making within our own party.

Some of us have been raising this point in various party fora and trying in our own small ways to expand the scope for consultative decision making. Like many of you, I had hoped that we would get a chance for discussion and course correction after the Lok Sabha elections. But the course of events in the last fortnight, following the election verdict, took me aback. It seemed that instead of introspection and course correction, we had started moving in the opposite direction. We got distracted from the real challenge and appeared to be diverting public attention. To my mind, we had not lost the election, but we did start losing something more valuable, our sense of direction and rectitude, after the elections. Colleagues, supporters and well-wishers of the party were worried about these developments and wanted us to introspect. My resignation was above all an attempt to invite my colleagues in the national leadership of the party to face the election outcome and to begin collective introspection.

II

Let me list here some key issues that the Party needs to focus on without any delay:

1. Absence of mechanism for consulting volunteers

This party grew out of an extraordinary coming together of volunteers from all over the country, most of whom had no previous experience of politics. Some of these volunteers like us came to be recognised as "leaders". It was imperative that our party should have as little gap between the "leaders" and the "led", that we evolve mechanisms for consulting our own volunteers and supporters in all the key decisions. So far there is no such mechanism and there is little movement in that direction. This was tried in a limited way during candidate selection in Delhi, but was abandoned too easily. We must find a new mechanism for listening and responding to the voice of our volunteers.

2. All powerful PAC and neglect of NE

Concentration of power in the hands of the PAC was never visualised in our constitution. The National Executive was meant to be the real executive body, with PAC taking some quick decisions in between two meetings of the NE. But right from the beginning, we could not keep to the then constitutional requirement of NE meeting/teleconference every fortnight. You would recall that we did weekly teleconference for some time but as Delhi elections approached that practice was dispensed with and never resumed. The concentration of powers in the hands of PAC meant that the inputs in the decision making were confined to a few persons who were themselves unrepresentative in terms of gender, region and social groups and perhaps limited in their wisdom. I had raised the issue of reconstitution of the PAC in the last two meetings of the NE but it had to be shelved due to the Lok Sabha elections. The supremacy of the NE must be restored and the PAC reconstituted.

3. Lack of proper functioning within the PAC

The PAC itself has not functioned in the true spirit of collective decision-making. The PAC meets regularly and extensive consultations take place. But there is no agenda or minutes of most of the PAC meetings leading to serious and avoidable confusion about what was decided; those who are neither members nor invitees attend and participate in PAC meetings; it has been insisted that invitees have the same power, including voting powers, as the elected members; and, it has been asserted that the PAC is no more than an advisory body whose majority opinion is not binding on the National Convener. Given this assumption, it is hardly surprising that the PAC was bypassed or overruled in many key decisions of the Party with far reaching consequences. This situation must be rectified and some minimum procedures must be laid down for PAC meetings.

4. Inadequate attention to issues of the states

The relationship between central leadership and the states leaves much to desired. The national leadership has not been able to focus its attention beyond some areas, leaving much of the organization in a state of chaos. There is no clear chain of command and the state leadership is often confused about how to get in touch with the centre and take crucial decisions. Central leadership is not in touch with colleagues who regularly deal with states on their behalf. As and when the centre intervenes, it exhibits "high command" culture prevalent in other organisations. Occasional intervention by the centre are seen to be ill-equipped in terms of their knowledge, aptitude and experience to handle the complex issues of the state units. Unless this is resolved, we cannot go ahead with organisation building at the state level.

5. Neglect of organization building

The crying need of the hour is organisation building, but there seems to be little appetite and preparation to plan and execute this painstaking work at the grassroots level. The PAC did not find time to discuss organisational blueprints. Volunteers and indeed leaders at the local level have no idea of how to go ahead with organisation building. Grievance redressal, conflict resolution and disciplinary action is largely left unattended. Organisational work is often delegated to colleagues who have little experience, aptitude or temperament for this work. Bottom-up organisation building must be our top priority now.

6. Policy deficit

For a party that has no dearth of policy analysts among its members and sympathisers, our party has a serious deficit in its policy thinking. We made some quick moves soon after the party was formed: we had a brief vision statement that went beyond anti corruption and Lokpal. Arvind bhai's book Swaraj was a great help in extending our thinking, but it could not substitute for policy thinking in various domains. Sadly, the Prty did not move beyond these early attempts. The party appointed 31 committees that produced reports. These reports were consolidated into a short framework for policy document, but this document never saw the light of the day. Ever since January last year, the party leadership has had no time for discussing the policy of the party. There has been no attempt to involve volunteers into thinking about our policy position on key issues for the party. As a result, our immediate response to an issue becomes our policy. We cannot postpone preparing a comprehensive policy document any more if we wish to be taken seriously as a party of governance.

7. Leader or supremo?

There is a widespread perception among the workers and sympathisers as well as external observers that the party is falling prey to the disease of personality cult that afflicts all the political parties in the country. There is no one who doubts that Arvind bhai is the undisputed leader within the Party. He has richly earned this stature and we would not be where we are without his leadership. But there is a difference between a Leader and a Supremo. Love and affection for a leader often turns into a personality cult that can damage an organization and the leader himself. This is what appears to be happening to our Party. Major decisions of the party appear to, and indeed do, reflect the wishes of one person; when he changes his mind, the Party changes its course of action; proximity to the Leader comes to substitute for organizational roles and responsibilities. Since all the decisions and successes are credited to one person, all the blame also begins to accumulate at the doors of one person. Let me reiterate that Arvind bhai is no ordinary leader and there are no two opinions about his continuing as the National Convener; nor have I ever doubted his status as first among equals within the party's leadership. The real question is whether there are limits to personal discretion of the leader.

III

These are the issues that have been worrying me, and I am sure many of you, for quite some time. I am not saying that I am free from the responsibility that the entire national leadership must accept for these deficits. In any case, I do not mention these for fixing responsibility. I do so to state the agenda for moving forward. I was waiting for the National Executive meeting for a free and frank discussion on these issues. But developments since the election verdict kept making matters worse and it appeared that the space for such a discussion was rapidly shrinking. Immediately after the verdict, instead of reflecting on the verdict and charting our way forward, we got into misadventures that highlighted and further accentuated the problems in decision making.

Worse, there were attempts to divert all the blame to PAC and NE. Demands were raised for dissolving the PAC and the NE; its members were presented as power brokers who were unwilling to give up their positions. These expressions were not confined to a few volunteers. It was seriously suggested within a PAC meeting that all the members of PAC and NE should hand over their resignations to the National Convener, giving him or a 'search committee' presided by him a free hand to reconstitute these bodies. All this reminded me of what happens in parties like the Congress and the BSP. Serious aspersions were cast on NE members and there was a proposal to go straight to the National Council in order to reconstitute the NE. I waited for Arvind bhai to come out from Jail and put an end to this chorus. Instead, in his first meeting with volunteers, Arvind bhai himself endorsed the anti-PAC sentiment, which amounted to an open expression of no confidence in his colleagues.

This is when I decided to resign from the PAC, and also offered to step down from my responsibilities as spokesperson and in charge of Haryana. I did not want to do this, for any news about 'resignation' of any leader at this juncture lowers the moral of our volunteers. My sincere apologies if this resignation has hurt any of you. But this was a desperate attempt to stop what I saw as a rapid slide with disastrous consequences; having failed to convince my colleagues to attend to the challenge of party building, I had no option but to jolt them into some introspection. Needless to say, I did not go to the media (even when systematic disinformation was being spread, linking my resignation to developments within Haryana), for I did not wish to cause any embarrassment to the party. As I said above, the PAC colleagues were kind enough to listen to me on these issues which have not been discussed in the PAC for a long time. I am also happy that the NE meeting is finally happening with a clear agenda and a defined list of invitees. But my resignation would be futile if it did not lead to substantive discussion in this NE meeting on the issues listed above.

Friends, let me conclude this long letter by reiterating that ours is a party with a future, a party of the futre. The election outcome may not have been as spectacular as the Delhi elections may have led us to believe, but it was neverthless a successful debut by an 18 month old party. We have achieved breakthrough in a second state, won more seats than the BJP or the BSP did in their debut elections, secured more than 1.1 crore votes and created a much bigger pool of goodwill, involved more than one lakh active volunteers in the campaign and successfully raised issues that other parties were unwilling to speak about. In the coming five years, we may be a small voice within the parliament, but we could be the principal political opposition in the country. The forthcoming meeting of the NE could be a turning point in this journey. Once we have a clear roadmap for future, attend to some of the issues mentioned above and get on with the painstaking task of organisation building, sky is the limit to what Aam Aadami Party can achieve in the country. We have created hope in our country's politics, now we cannot fail the country. Looking forward to meeting all of you,​
Yours,

Yogendra Yadav

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Neither of these letters are easy to write and neither of these provide answers. What they do is more precious. They provide questions worth asking so that the whole organization may seek answers.

In my view, this is a very good thing, and I do hope that AAP leaders make habits of writing open letters to each other when issues of dissent or direction or important decisions arise, so that their thinking may provide the party with greater involvement and an opportunity to contribute when they see what the potential is.

Is that not what the dream was in picking up the broom?