<link rel="stylesheet" href="//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans%3A400italic%2C700italic%2C400%2C700">Politics of India Archives « Aam JanataSkip to content

On the 1st of September 2017, farmers of the Akhil Bharatiya Kisab Sabha called for an indefinite mahapadav or gherao of the various District Collectorates in Rajasthan. Like the farmer protests in Maharashtra, these too were sustained bouts of anger over neglect by the government. The farmers had very basic demands related to the very survival of agriculture itself. Proper implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations,the greater allocation for MGNREGA, higher wages and more days of work, social security, MSP was another key area, removal of the absurd law on restrictions on cattle trade sinking the prices of cattle and protection for cattle traders, pensions of Rs.5000 for farmers and agricultural labourers over the age of 60. Here are their demands:

Demands of the Kisan Sabha in the Sikar agitation
Demands of the Kisan Sabha in the Sikar agitation

It is shameful that as farmer desperation and suicides increase and even suicides rise among the children of farmers, the government and their elite rent-a-pens remain indifferent and even dismissive to the plight of farmers. However the citizens of Rajasthan are not. The demands of the farmers found wide resonance among various groups of people who supported the protests in solidarity. Hundreds of members of the Kiln labour Union drove to Krishi Mandi, Sikar on red tractors in solidarity with the mahapadav. National leader of Jan Kranti Manch, Pooja Chhabra also reached the Mandi to convey solidarity. Veer Teja Sena of Sikar has pledged to support the struggle at every step. The Bakra Mandi Vyaparis have shown their support to the movement along with a contribution Rs. 11,000. Shaheed Bhagat Singh Law College, Sikar, bestowed Rs. 10,000 to the mahapadav. Sangliya Dhuni, a ‘saint’who claims to be a farmer at heart, gave monetary support and 2 quintals of wheat.

Dilip Mishra of the Auto Rickshaw Union expressed the willingness of auto drivers to go on strike in solidarity if called upon, as did milk suppliers. Milk Transportation Union of the state contributed Rs. 21,000; while the Amul Corporation Union gave Rs. 11,000 to the agitation. The Bus City Union took out a huge rally in support of the mahapadav. Dancing with the DJ, going through the city, the rally was welcomed by the citizens with flowers. The MR union put up a free medical camp to oversee the health of farmers in the rally and the ambulance union took out a rally in support of the mahapadav. [Source: Newsclick]

Protests raged for days with blockades at 300 points, as the government did what governments do. The internet was blocked in Rajasthan to prevent news from getting too much attention. However, this did nothing to dampen the flood of people out on the streets for their very sustainability. Protests continued to grow as the farmers declared the government of Rajasthan dead and carried out a mock funeral.

Finally, and unsurprisingly, like the protests in Maharashtra, the government was forced to bow to their demands. Amra Ram, Kisan Sabha leader and ex-MLA from CPI(M) speaks here about their victory.

And their press release thanking everyone for support in their victory.

AIKS Congratulates Rajasthan Kisans for Historic Victory!

Celebrating victory in Sikar agitation
Celebrating victory in Sikar agitation

The peasantry in Rajasthan under the Kisan Sabha banner have won a significant victory after their resolute struggle lasting 13 days. Since 1st September, 2017 lakhs gheraoed the different District Headquarters on the call of Rajasthan Kisan Sabha for a Mahapadav. For 3 days there was also Rasta Roko across the State bringing about 20 Districts to a standstill. Only ambulances and essential services functioned. The peasant movement received unprecedented support from all sections of the society making it a truly people's movement. The insensitive BJP Government led by Vasundhara Raje Scindia was forced to bow down and accept many of the demands of the peasantry after 13 days of struggle and talks with the Kisan Sabha leadership. The talks went on in 4 phases from 1:00 PM on 12th September and ended on 14th September at 1:00 AM.

Celebrations as Rajasthan government is forced to accept farmer demands in Sikar agitation
Celebrations as Rajasthan government is forced to accept farmer demands in Sikar agitation

The BJP Government was forced to agree to loan waiver of up to RS.50,000/- which is expected to benefit 8 lakh farmers, assurance that State government will write to the Centre seeking implementation of Swaminathan Commission Recommendations on MSP in a time-bound manner by working out modalities, purchase of groundnut, green gram (moong) and urad at MSP at all District Headquarters within 7 days, withdraw hike in electricity rates for drip irrigation, payment of SC/ST/OBC fellowship with arrears immediately, relaxation in restrictions in sale of cattle, protection of crops from stray cattle and wild animals, increase of pension to Rs. 2000/month agreed in principle, insurance claim for failure of canal irrigation and stopping harassment of traders and farmers by the police. After agreement on these issues and on a mechanism to implement decisions AIKS President Com.Amra Ram announced withdrawal of the Mahapadav and reopening of roads that were closed for the last 3 days. Kisans across the State celebrated the victory with slogans, songs and dances.

AIKS thanks all who stood in solidarity with the movement. This inspiring victory shall inspire similar struggles across the country.

Message from Com. Drm. Ashok Dhawale, Vice President AIKS

Heartiest congratulations to all leaders and activists of the Rajasthan Kisan Sabha and to the fighting peasantry of Rajasthan for their massive 13-day struggle and the impressive victory that they won in prolonged talks with the state government.

राजस्थान किसान सभा के सभी जुझारू साथियों को महाराष्ट्र किसान सभा के सभी साथियों की ओर से लाल सलाम.

- Com. Drm Ashok Dhawale
Vice-President AIKS

Special mention must be made of the excellent coverage of the protests by NewsClick. Where most media carried token coverage at best, they have photos, videos and interviews from the ground as the protests progressed.

Democracies are expected to empower citizens to take genuine control of instruments of the state for their development. At the core of this concept is the idea that citizens will participate in governance at the local level, making decisions for themselves, and vote in representatives to legislatures for higher-level decisions. India is an implausible democracy, an audacious experiment, attempting to bring together a billion people with starkly different languages, religions, and food habits. However, the state of our democracy remains perilous, a country hanging on by a slender thread to its claim to being defined a democracy. Like with many other aspects famously considered ‘Indian’, our democracy is a mediocre one, fulfilling satisfactorily, only the most basic requirement of regular (and reasonably free and fair) elections. Democratic accountability in particular, appears particularly at risk, as we the people, have fewer ways to hold those in power responsible for their performance.

Four scenarios raising concerns about democratic accountability currently playing out in India:

Propaganda rules over facts

Late last year, the central government pulled off ‘Demonetisation’, an exercise in purging cash reserves of the political opposition after ensuring the ruling party’s own reserves were safely parked (or converted) well in time. Manipulation of the press by political parties through direct funding (or proxy measures) continues unabated, as news channels spectacularly out-do the state broadcaster in peddling propaganda. The true extent of damage caused by Demonetisation will never be known — not because we do not have the tools to measure the damage, but because voters are being herded like sheep, not to ask any questions. As a result, the Reserve Bank of India can get away without releasing key data, and the lack of that data need not deter the government from making grandiose statements that go almost completely unchallenged in the public domain. Those who do question, do it with the knowledge that nit-picking on facts is futile.

Dissent is anti-national

The state’s response to dissent continues to plumb new depths. Civil society voices have been muted, farmer/dalit protests are killed in cahoots with a friendly media, etc. Those speaking up against the rampant terrorism in the name of the cow, or the fast-receding freedom of the press, are labelled anti-national. Dissent, whether from the grassroots or from intellectuals in society, are continuously demonised by a government that seems to take pride in its own anti-intellectualism, and celebration of mediocrity as evident from the various appointments to institutions of repute. Activists are being silenced everywhere. Today, Medha Patkar languishes in jail, as a government utterly insensitive to citizen protests makes no conciliatory move.Decimation of political opposition: A string of election defeats, poor public image, still quite unable to overcome the ‘corruption stains’, a lethargic party, and a seemingly disinterested leader — it is the perfect storm for the Indian National

Decimation of political opposition

A string of election defeats, poor public image, still quite unable to overcome the ‘corruption stains’, a lethargic party, and a seemingly disinterested leader — it is the perfect storm for the Indian National Congress, and a sign of the times for political opposition in India. This decimation is now fully reflected in the composition of India’s Parliament, and the erosion of checks and balances that the Legislature is supposed to have over the Executive In a parliamentary system. The few states that are not ruled by the BJP get undue attention from partisan Governors and federal anti-corruption agencies. The use of the Governor’s office as a pawn in the hands of the central government must evoke a sense of deja-vu. Politics that seemed to have matured in the last fifteen years or so now lies in tatters.

Narcissism and hero-worship

When the BJP government recently completed three years in office, the government launched the MODI Fest — the Making of Developed India festival. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly Mann Ki Baat speeches were released as a book at an event in the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Every government scheme is credited to only one man, and no failures are ever pinned on him. If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, Modi-bhakti seems to be his second-last weapon of choice.

The point overall is this — to celebrate our incredible democracy, it is not enough to just conduct every five years, and for everyone to accept the election results. That is a very low bar. What matters is the quality of our democracy as measured by how the polity, the people, and the institutions operate once elections are over.

By this measure, India’s democracy has a long way to go. The systematic destruction of institutions, which need to function with a degree of competence and independence, will eventually kill our democracy. In the last three years, our institutions have shown themselves to be utterly incapable of protecting themselves from a government with authoritarian tendencies. The power that we have to hold public officials and politicians to account is directly proportionate to the credibility of institutions of governance. The way the Reserve Bank of India has folded in the last nine months should be serious cause for concern. The repeated attempts at politicising the military forces, the bellowing nationalistic media, our sanskari cultural guardians, and the uber-patriotic people’s representatives — together foretell a scary future for India.

The immediate casualty has been democratic accountability. No one seems to be responsible for the sluggish economy, now showing alarming signs of slipping into deflation. Similarly, no one seems responsible for breakdown in public services that the government is responsible for, nor is anyone held accountable for the questionable and inconsistent foreign policy decisions. Neither national security, nor corruption or cronyism seem to be topical any longer. Vigilantes break the law with impunity, as representatives of government hail them as patriots.

It is a great tragedy that after completing seventy years as a proud independent nation, our democracy is faced with such an existential crisis. If you are a liberal progressive Indian, this spectre should concern you.

*****

A short addendum

A friend pointed out that none of this is “new” — that this has been the nature of politics in India, and indeed, is something I recognise in this column on politics and power:
It is in the nature of a government to exercise power. Every political party in power manifests power in one form or the other — never mind if the one exercising it is being labelled ‘Left’ or ‘Right’. Often, these labels allow us the convenience of picking sides based on who we like, rather than the issue at hand. This only serves to lower the quality of public debate. In reality, it would appear that at their extremities, the Left and Right are indistinguishable; and that is a clue that what we need to really discern is the manner in which both sides choose to exercise power. And for citizens unaffiliated with these labels, understanding power is the first step towards engaging with it.

The exercise of power, and the “feudal” nature of politics in India is a reality. And yet, there is distinct shift in the pattern that we need to recognise. A government running amok with little counter-balance from the Legislature or the Press, and an inconsistent Judiciary has created an unique operating environment. Political parties that are now emaciated are of course responsible for their own fates, but the corporate control of the media (and an organised effort on social media) has emboldened the current government in ways we haven’t seen in recent years. And while ordinary citizens and observers cannot replace a conventional political opposition, we need to keep demanding accountability from the government — ultimately, that is the essence of a democracy. The voters may yet surprise us again, (who knows!), but this column is about holding governments to account in between two successive elections.

Originally published here.

22

With Hardik Patel ratcheting up the decibels on a daily basis, there is a growing multi-layered, highly organized effort at building public opinion against caste reservations and a beautifully architectered amnesia on the fact that Hardik hardly challenges the state when he demands that elites get reservations or they be removed for all. It is the exact BJP agenda he is parroting, that an elected government cannot, publicly. BJP and RSS have always been on the "remove" side of the caste debate and demands to remove it being promoted as a challenge to Modi's authority take extreme gullibility to believe... or an audience age below 20 with no real understanding of caste, reservations or their public history in India.

Regardless, this is not a post about all that. It is a post describing my views on the issue because I'm tired of saying the same things over and over to people who think they are making wholly original arguments by going "hey why not remove caste based reservations". So here is where I am.

Reservations cannot fix caste discrimination

Agree. Reservations are not meant to fix caste inequality - which is an effort all those wanting them abolished haven't even managed to start, for all their talk. Reservations are meant to prevent caste supremacists from outright denying the less privileged their right to learn altogether. That it works is seen from the fury of the supremacists over the "injustice" to them that they cannot occupy all the opportunities and must share. Reservations cannot end caste prejudice, but they can and do prevent denial of rights till someone bothers to do it. They have been doing exactly that. Which is why the upper castes are pissed.

Reservations are against the idea of equality

Sure. I agree. I think reservations should be done away with too. AFTER ensuring discrimination has ended. Not one moment before. Till then, anti-reservation demands are a weapon of inequality masquerading as a noble hogwash of equality.

No one excludes lower castes anymore

Well, they do, but they cannot do it on a massive scale because.... reservations. Which is exactly why they want the reservations removed - to be able to discriminate and use the reserved seats for elites as well.

And, even with reservations in place, stories abound of colleges keeping reserved seats empty rather than admit dalits, college canteens with separate "thalis" for students according to their caste, colleges with separate canteens altogether on the basis of caste and even midday meals served in schools feeding dalit children poorer quality food or seating them separately from the rest of the students. If they were allowed to deny education to lower castes, make no mistake they would do it in a flash.

If you ban discrimination, you don't need caste reservations

Discrimination is already illegal in India. In fact, so is murder. Yet court after court is acquitting self confessed brutal mass murderers of dalits. There is no outrage, no pressure on the government to bring them to justice no questioning of those exposed for providing material support to the murderers as they continue to hold positions of power. Do you really think anyone is going to give them justice for being refused a seat?

Reservations should address economic vulnerability, not caste.

This is like saying we will fight one kind of inequality but not another. In my view, both should be addressed, not only one. Discrimination of denial of rights must be combated by ensuring that a proportional space in the whole is reserved for the people at risk of being denied on account of prejudice. No, not the Patels. Poverty, on the other hand does not necessarily need reservations. Lack of economic resources can be fixed with free tuitions and funds to enable study. Particularly worthy students from economically backward sections of society could even be paid to attend college so that they don't have to drop out in order to earn. This may have an overlap where backward castes and economically backward students overlap, in which case they should benefit from both, of course. Removing protections to one kind of vulnerable group in order to assist another is not a better method, it is fundamental stinginess that refuses to take responsibility for the whole range of assistance needed.

Replacing caste based reservations with those that are economic capacity based will have an extremely predictable result of filling seats with high caste poor people and disenfranchising the lower castes while pretending that this is a more just system.

Understand this. If you understand nothing else.

This is a simple process of taking the resources (educational/employment capacity is a resource) of a country and saying that those who are in a better position to monopolize them.

Where access to something that ought to belong to all is defined in a manner that prevents use by some so that the remaining may appropriate their share.

But isn't competence important? I wouldn't want to be treated by an incompetent doctor

I don't think India has any laws forcing you to be treated by a doctor not of your choice. Feel free to check out the surname and prefer to die than be treated.

Competence is indeed important. Here's the thing. Our education system does precious little to inculcate it and the admission system makes no effort to measure it. Examination marks are not competence. They are merely a reflection of your memorization skills in an age where everyone can look up information in an instant in any case. Even then, a few percentage points does not make anyone clever or stupid. No seriously, you are really not more competent than your friend who got 5% less marks than you, or a stranger you'd prefer to snatch a seat from. To get an idea, in professions not limited by access in terms of percentage, find out the marks the most successful individuals got in their examinations. Most of the time you will find that their education is irrelevant to their chosen profession and that the range of examination scores is more likely to be between 60% and 80% than the high 90s. While it is fine to use it as a uniform method to share the limited resource of seats, arguing that it means that a person getting 80% marks is too stupid to study or be a professional is plain absurd, which you would immediately spot if your head weren't enveloped in a castesist fog.

The myth of 'competence' is another elitist fiction created to instill a bias in favor of those with the ability to spend considerable resources on an ability to memorize and reproduce quickly.

It is not fair that students study hard and are denied seats and dalits can get them if they just pass

Another elitist myth. That idea that the number of seats reserved for dalits are so vast that any dalit with a whim gets admissions. In reality, dalits too have to work to get admissions and they too get cut off like any other student. Also the idea that low caste people are lazy and not interested in education is an upper caste myth where the lower castes are so objectified as unworthy, that the idea that they too study to create careers simply does not occur to the thoughtless hordes taught to resent their very presence.

And oh, the real reason students struggle to get admissions is not Dalits - they too struggle to get admissions. It is your oh-so-very elite classes that run your country and have not bothered to create educational facilities that are adequate for the population size. This serves all, as the demand and supply rule results in nice fat bribes donations to... not dalits.

Caste reservations keep caste discrimination alive

This is bullshit. There are no seat reservations in college canteens that serve people separately by caste anyway. If a college can have separate canteens for dalits, and yet screams outrage that there is a separate admission quota for them, all I can conclude is that they basically want the dalits to vanish and abdicate all the opportunities to the privileged classes.

Caste discrimination is when a news organization fights to show the impunity with which mass murderers walk free, acquitted by courts one after the other and yet, none of the supposed equality supporting people find this an outrage enough to raise a voice for accountability. There is no caste quota for mass murder, in case you were curious.

What about lower caste people who are already privileged? Why should they get donations?

Feel free to create a rule that goes "people richer than XYZ must seek admissions through the general quota" and not occupy seats meant to protect the deprived. That would be the logical move, yes? But that will not happen, because last thing the elites want is for more competition in their "merit". They'd rather point out to the privileged few and use it as an excuse to deny all.

Wake me up when this bunch of jokers points out to the richest people in India - many of them doctors - many of them running businesses on black money that deprives the country of its due and argue that children of doctors or otherwise rich people must pay the real cost of education of a doctor instead of the massive state sponsorship of the training for all. Yes? No? Why not? We're talking about people who can afford it still using government provided benefits, right?

Well, a lot of medical students who are in "doctor families" so to say will wade through money to reach the college, learn on massive government subsidies meant to make the training affordable for far poorer people, and then go abroad and sell their services cheaper than doctors there who had to invest a lot of money in their careers. Wake me up when someone has a problem with that and goes children of the rich must pay the real cost of education ...

But we can't have caste reservations forever! What is the answer?

If we can discriminate for thousands of years, we can still go a few hundred years without worrying about reservations being continued too long. That said, the answer to this lies with the elites. If there is no discrimination, the reservations will not matter and can be removed - frankly if there is no discrimination, removing them will not create enough of a difference for anyone to get worked up about it.

The truth of the matter is that the people who always oppose caste reservations have also been implicated in caste crimes. The removal of reservations is just another front of attack to strangle the rise of castes they wish to subjugate in an ongoing caste war. The claims of equality are bullshit as you would see if you scratched even briefly under the surface. This mythical Hardik Patel protest against the state over reservations is speaking exactly the BJP line. BJP has wanted caste reservations gone since before Hardik Patel was born and now there are protests "against" the BJP to "force" it to do exactly what it wants to do. Who are we kidding?

BJP leaders are also implicated in support to dalit massacres that ranged from money, assistance in procuring weapons, getaway vehicles when surrounded by police during a massacre and political impunity including intimidation of investigation and inquiry proceedings.

These people are going to allow equal opportunity to those whom they helped kill? Who are we kidding here? The minute caste reservations are gone, exclusion on the basis of caste will rise. Your "underprivileged" will overwhelmingly be from privileged castes. By design.

So you tell us what can be done

Recognize caste discrimination for the disease it is. And like any other disease, eradicate it from the country. Monitor cases of caste violence. "Treat" them with justice and social reform. Reduce incidences and when caste discrimination ends or reliably gets justice in judicial process, remove the reservations. Just like the disease it is.

Your move, caste supremacists!

 

Note: This post is likely to get updated as I encounter more creative arguments on Twitter.

Not only have massive killings of dalits not bothered the political establishment, foot soldiers of the ruling have been on a quest to discredit Cobrapost. Replying to some of their biggest objections instead of individual and repeated replies.

Cobrapost is a puppet

This is problematic on several levels. The evidence they bring speaks for itself.This objection has not been raised about say.... the likes of , who targets the Congress specifically. Even if it were true, as long as the allegations are correct, they should be investigated, whether it is a BJP puppet or Congress puppet bringing them up. This is consistent with the stand I had taken on AVAM - which targeted and was supported by BJP in doing so. If their allegations were correct, they should be acted on. AVAM only targeting AAP is no excuse to ignore, just like Cobrapost "only targeting BJP" is no excuse to ignore.

However, Cobrapost, as a matter of fact does not only target the BJP. The expose immediately before the Operation Black Rain was about the UPA stealing the thunder of "Golden Quadrilateral"work done by NDA under Vajpayee and "expanding" it at massive cost with bent rules and hasty clearances. Previous exposes too have targeted Congress. BJP supporters attempting to silence exposes of their wrongs with ad hominem accusations remains a logical fallacy.

Cobrapost is attempting to sabotage BJP before Bihar .

Only true if BJP insists on backing the candidates tainted in the expose. BJP could also choose the way of honesty and justice and reopen investigations and solidly nail Nitish Kumar, who was the CM who scuttled the Justice Amir Das Commission of Inquiry that had nailed the culprits on coming to power. If BJP chose, it could use this to destroy Nitish Kumar. Laloo, messiah of the poor too has done precious little to get justice for this and could be confronted. It could even be projected as the transformation of BJP under their new and improved leader, . What BJP supporters are not saying is that they do not WANT justice for the dalits killed by their allies, which is why the expose is a problem. Cobrapost cannot be expected to cater to political desires for cover ups. It has provided the BJP the means to do a very high profile clean up of criminal elements in their party as well as nail their opponents. It cannot be considered Cobrapost's fault if BJP does not WISH to clean up their act and nail their opponent in the process.

The timing of Cobrapost's Operation Black Rain release is suspect.

I don't know why Cobrapost chooses their dates, but personally, I think before the elections is an excellent time to expose crimes and criminals so that people may choose who to vote for with eyes wide open.

***************************************************

Accusation from Congress supporters.

BJP benefits from riots and Cobrapost exposes before elections help BJP consolidate vote

This may be true, because a Yale study does show BJP males electoral gains with every riot. However, it is unclear whether exposes of a riot from the past would result in electoral gains as well. Regardless, even if people choose brutal killers because of riots, that is their choice in the future they want for themselves. Concealing information to prevent an electoral outcome does not educate the voter - even if we don't agree with their choices.

3

Milan Gupta's formal complaint to the Election Commission against Aam Aadmi Party establishes that the 28th march NC meeting was unconstitutional and asks EC to demand unedited footage from all cameras.

To,

Election Commission of India,

Nirvachan Sadan,

New Delhi -110001

Dear Sir,

This is with reference to Aam Aadmi Party's(AAP) press release dated 28 March 2015 made available by the party's secretariat to the media,the party members, the general public (and the Election Commision of India) through the party's official website link http://www.aamaadmiparty.org/aam-aadmi-party-press-release-28th-march-2015 

Vide the aforesaid press release it has been informed that the National Council of AAP met on 28th March 2015 in which certain decisions and resolutions were taken. A copy of the press release is attached for your convenience, as Annexure 1  (You may cross verify the contents of the attachment with the aforesaid internet link too if you like.)In case, Aam Aadmi Party's secretariat has sent a written communication to Election Commission of India(ECI) with respect to the purported National Council meeting of 28 March 2015, kindly consider this email with reference to such a communication also. (Kindly request you to upload such a written communication on ECI's website also, in that case).

I am a member of Aam Aadmi Party. Attached with this email in Annexure 2 is my profile summary(with my earlier residential address) that was displayed on Aam Aadmi party's official website.

I bring to your attention that the purported National Council meeting of AAP on 28 March 2015, as informed vide the aforementioned press release, was wholly ultra-vires the constitution of AAP on records of the ECI. The irrefutable evidence of its illegality has been furnished by the party's secretariat itself.

The party's secretariat has claimed vide the aforementioned press release in para 2(a) that out of a total of 392 members of the National Council, 311 attended the meet. I shall demonstrate here that total strength of National Council members is not more than 300, and the figure of 392 members is therefore wholly false, misleading and contemptuous of basic respect of rules and laws.

Article IV- F of AAP constitution registered with ECI governs the composition of the National Council. As per the article, the National Council consists of convenors from all the states and the districts. In addition , it can co-opt upto a maximum of 50 members. It is not a matter of dispute, so far, that the no member has been co-opted into the National Council till date(In case, it is claimed so by the party' secretariat, even that will not explain the super high figure of 392 members in the National Council).

AAP;s constitution, like all the democratic parties' constitution, has clearly written throughout that the convenors at all levels are elected, and not appointed. The Active Members with voting rights as defined in AAP constitution are the foundation of the party who make AAP a bottom-up elected organisation. 

Article IV-D-c(i) and (vi)  specify that the District Convenor shall be elected by District executive, which in turn shall be elected by Active members in that district.

Similarly,  article IV-E-c(i) and (vi) state that the State convenor shall be elected by State executive, which in turn shall be elected by Active members in that state.

Article III-C-vi mentions that the list of Active members shall be frozen one month before the call for any party elections.

However, there are no active members list or any such party elections held anywhere in the party through Active members(except, in National Council members' first meeting on 24 Nov 2012). The evidence of this has been provided by the party's secretariat itself in the edited video recording of the purported National Council meeting of 28 March 2015.

Pls refer to the video in this link ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efn4QWGk7fA )made public through AAP's official twitter web page ( https://twitter.com/aamaadmiparty/status/582050559978442752 ).

You may prefer to focus on the contents in that video for duration between 34 minutes 5 seconds to 37 minutes 50 seconds in it.

In the video, the National Convenor of AAP, while commenting and admitting on flaws in the internal organisational setup( between 34 minutes 30 seconds and 34 minutes 40 seconds) states as follows "... अभी Active members की list है नहीं .. आपको भी पता है .. हमने कहा committees बनायीं जाएँगी , हर राज्य में committee बनायेंगे , active members की list बनायेंगे, public कर देंगे.."

Further, the National Convenor admits while specifically taking the example of organisation set up in a particular state  that voting withing party is in fact missing in the entire country, not just that particular state. The National Convenor says ( between 37 minutes 24 seconds and 37 minutes 44 seconds)

"..  एक साल में कितनी voting करायी हरियाणा में ? यहाँ पर हरियाणा के साथी भी होंगे ..हाँ भाई कितनी वोटिंग करायी ?...एक वोटिंग हुई हो पूरे.. कुछ लागू तो कर के दिखाओ ..कुछ कर के तो दिखाओ ..हरियाणा में लागू कर दो हम पूरे देश में लागू कर देंगे ..)

The above statements of the National Convenor ,released officially by the party's secretariat too, are a self-providing evidence that active members list is not available, active members have not been identified, and there have been no internal party elections through out the country.

Therefore, no district convenors or state convenors can become part of AAP's National Council since no elections have taken place throughout the country for them, through a duly maintained Active Members list as per AAP's constitution.

The National Council can be composed, therefore, only as per provision in Article IV- F which states as "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."

At this point, kindly refer to letter number 4/RTI/32/2015/PPS-II/347 dated 25th February, 2015 sent by Sh Suman Kumar Das, Under Secretary, CPIO, to the undersigned in response to an RTI application filed by me in this regard wherein I had requested to be provided the names, in serial order, of the persons who came together to form the Aam Aadmi Party.

I was informed that document in this regard runs to 957 pages, and I could get the same on payment of Rs 1914/-. I made the payment vide receipt number 20098 dated 09/03/2015 to the ECI, and received the required documents accordingly

The total number of persons, in the records of ECI shared with me as above or otherwise, who came together to form the Aam Aadmi Party does not exceed 300. This is clearly a matter of record with ECI and is verifiable.

Therefore, the National Council members cannot exceed 300 in total as per records available with ECI, the AAP constitution registered with ECI, and the admitted video evidence shared as above.

It is thus demonstrated that the purported National Council consisting of 392 members as informed vide the press release that met on 28 March 2015 was completely ultra-vires the AAP constitution, and the figures quoted by the party secretariat are false, misleading and demeaning to average constitution abiding party members and citizens.

Also ,there are many National Council members on records of ECI  also, who have not been served any notice of expulsion by AAP, but were not allowed to attend the purported National Council meet of 28th March 2015. Such members are also willing to make a written statement to that effect and this has been reported in the media too.

Besides, the aforesaid evidence, there have been much more serious and grave reports of violence, subjugation & coercion having held inside the private and heavily guarded closed venue of the aforementioned purported National Council meet. In fact, the local law and order administration has had to duly register a FIR (Number 143 of 2015 dated 30/0/2015 at P.S. Kapashera) under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. A copy of the FIR is attached in this mail as Annexure 3.

Aam Aadmi Party is not only a registered party under section 29A of Representation of People's Act, 1951, it is also a recognised party by the Election Commission of India, under the Election Symbols(Reservation and Allotment) Order , 1968. Under para 16A of the Symbols order, every recognised party is expected to follow lawful directions and instructions of the Commission which it discharges under broad authority of article 324 of Constitution of India.

In exercise of such powers under para 16A of Symbol order, article 324 of Constitution of India, and with view of safeguarding general public interest in maintaining faith in democracy based on certain concessions to recognised parties and with the evidences presented to you I sincerely urge you to kindly

1) Instruct the Aam Aadmi party's National Secretary, Sh Pankaj Gupta, to share the full unedited video recording of the proceedings of the purported National Council meeting of 28 March 2015 with the Election Commission of India. The unedited video recordings must contain recordings from all cameras present in the venue. No record of Election Commission of India, shall be updated with respect to the National Council meet of 28 March without making the full unedited video recordings available to the Commission.

2) Instruct the SHO, P.S. Kapashera, to share the full collected video evidence against FIR 143 of 2015 with the Election Commission of India.

3) Declare that the the aforementioned press release in Annexure 1 from Aam Aadmi Party's secretariat  or any written communication to Election Commission with regard to the purported National Council meeting of 28 March 2015,as ultra-vires in light of evidence available and made available. 

4) Declare the purported National Council meet of Aam Aadmi Party of 28 March 2015 as ultra vires of the AAP constitution in light of evidence available and made available to the Election Commission.

5) Declare the purported National Council meet of Aam Aadmi Party of 28 March 2015 as ultra vires in light of  sufficient coercion and violence  at the venue.

Thanking you,

With regards,