AAP seems to be running on populism agenda and an addict of media attention. The party has become somewhat like headless chicken with its internal matters grabbing headlines daily.
Wednesday was tumults for the Aam Aadmi Party which saw revolt from the fringes. There were usual and some unusual suspects which kept the party up on their toes so much so that their leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had to come out and give an explanation for the situation.
While MLA Vinod Kumar Binny accused his own party of deviating from its promises and other things, he was joined by the voices of party member Tina Sharma, Captain Gopinath and Mallika Sarabhai. Party leader and education minister Manish Sisodia’s statement added to the fire.
Binny, who had shed bad light on the party when the cabinet of Kejriwal government was decided last December, has decided to sit on a hunger strike if his party failed to respond to his charges. He also threatened to throw a press conference on Thursday and expose the party, just like the last time. But that never happened and he was seen praising AAP leaders within hours. Last time, Kejriwal had chosen his words carefully to descrie the ‘Binny crisis’in his party. Interestingly, this time Kejriwal was more blunt. Within hours of Binny’s statement, Kejriwal alleged the MLA had been vying for a chance to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“There’s nothing I can do about what he is saying. First, he had come for ministership, we refused. After that, he wanted to contest the Lok Sabha polls. He came to my house to ask for a ticket. The party has decided that all sitting MLAs would not be given tickets for Lok Sabha polls,” the Chief Minister said.
He was met with Binny’s retort: “It is the biggest lie if he has said that I went and spoke to him about a Lok Sabha seat or elections or an election ticket,” he said.
It should be noted that Binny, who was with the Congress from 2009 to 2011, left the party to join the Jan Lokpal movement, before the formation of the AAP. He is now part of AAP’s nine-member political affairs committee.
When the news broke out, a spat had already happened between newly inducted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai and poet leader Kumar Vishwas. Sarabhai, who joined AAP only last week as a major boost to the party in Gujarat, had slammed Vishwas for his comments on Modi in a 2005 video which recently resurfaced on YouTube. Vishwas had to hit back questioning her contribution during various protests in Delhi in the recent past in media.
His response was one filled with anger, “Where was Mallika when I was fighting with the police after the rape of Gudiya, a minor girl, in Delhi in April? The police were beating me. Where was she when I was raising a movement against the coal scam? She should look at herself before questioning me on any issue.” By the end of the day, various AAP leaders were on various media debate panels questioning AAP’s credibility and style of working.
Tina Sharma, who left BJP to join AAP, said that the party had begun work on its 2014 LS manifesto and was not concerned about its 2013 resolutions anymore. This was a political line that echoed Binny. In addition to that, Captain Gopinath, who pioneered the low-cost airline idea in the country and joined AAP recently, seemed to be critical of the party’s economic policies. First he criticized party’s FDI policy on twitter, then he joined the rebellion band on TV.
“We have Indian corporates who are allowed retail outlets,so why not foreign? Bit bizarre,” he had tweeted.
Binny, in a grand appearance on TV channels, said that the party had lost internal democracy. He accused Kejirwal of being surrounded by a certain pack of people and said that he has become inaccessible after becoming CM.
He also alleged that the party was working hand in loves with Congress despite people’s mandate against the party pointing towards the statement made by Sisodia, who, after vociferously fighting against Congress with Kejriwal, stated that his partywas “never against Congress”.
He questioned party leaders’ decisions of taking cars and bunglows and their policy on water and electricity saying that the Kejriwal government was not delivering.
“Kejriwal could have been sitting on fast had this been a case of the minister from another party, but when it came to Somnath Bharti’s case, he started finding fault in the judiciary itself. He has cheated people by saying that they will be nominated for lok sabha when he has already decided who will contest from where. Why all this drama?” Binny charged.
Interestingly, all the rebellion happened a day after AAP decided that sitting MLAs will not contest lok Sabha elections. Also, his charge that the party is not delivering seems odd enough. The party is only a month old and is tediously working on its manifesto. Also, the decision on water and electricity is something which was taken long back. Why this uproar now?
Also, Kejriwal and his core group is a part of the governmet now. And they are heavily burdened with work. Accessibility will surely reduce and he will be surrounded by this core group all the time for they havebetter understading. Afterall, they are notrevolting against their leader.
While Sisodia’s statement is questionable and Kejriwal’s statement on Bharti too is a matter of debate, saying that the Kejriwal government is not delivering will be an understatement. In all, it gives us a whiff of jealously and ego which has culminated as an embarrassment to the party.
And the media is milking this opportunity quite well.
This indicates towards one thing that the AAP has become a headless chicken where everything and everyone is flying directionless. The best example can be drawn from Rishikesh where AAP workers fought one another brandishing chairs for weapons at a meeting to decide on the party’s Lok Sabha poll strategy. The meeting was chaired by AAP leader and strategist Sanjay Singh and former news anchor Ashutosh, who recently joined the party. A press conference held by the two leaders following the meeting was also disrupted by protesters, who showed black flags and booed.
AAP seems to be running on populism agenda and an addict of media attention. Till now, AAP has failed to display that it has anything new in store for the people who left other parties for them. AAP has not published its programs and strategies yet except single agenda – elimination of corruption. In addition, the statements made by its important members has only created serious doubts about their views on very critical issues -Kashmir / Naxals etc.
It is time that AAP handled its internal matters sans media and gave us reason to support them fortheir national debut.