Days after he and Yogendra Yadav were expelled from the party’s top decision-making fora, rebel Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan has fired a fresh salvo at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accusing him of turning AAP a “high command-oriented” party and betraying trust of lakhs of supporters.
In an open letter to Kejriwal, Bhushan said “God and history will not forgive what you are doing to the party”.
Bhushan and Yadav were expelled from AAP’s National Executive on March 28 for “anti-party activities”.
“After winning the Delhi elections with such a thumping majority, when you have such good fortune, you should be showing your best qualities to the people of this country. But unfortunately, your worst qualities have emerged now,” Bhushan said.
“The removal of the Lokpal, us and others who questioned the manner of our removal, reminds one of Stalin’s purge of dissenters in the Communist party of Russia. You should read Orwell’s Animal Farm to see the parallels between Stalin’s Russia and what is happening in our party today. God and history will not forgive what you are doing to the party,” Bhushan said.
The party founded with a dream of “clean and principled” politics may well turn into a “nightmare”, he said.
Bhushan also said it would be wrong on Kejriwal’s party to think that people will forget about the “betrayal” if he delivered on good governance.
“Even traditional political parties like Congress, BJP have done some governance. But the dream that we started with for clean and principled politics and corruption-free governance was much much bigger,” he said.
Bhushan said “the fear that I have, is that after how you have behaved and the character traits that you have showed, this dream of clean and principled politics that the Aam Aadmi party was founded on may well turn into a nightmare”.
In the letter, Bhushan also accused Kejriwal of making “false and inflammatory” allegations against him, his father Shanti Bhushan and Yadav at the National Council (NC) meeting on March 28 and inciting the MLAs and some others present there.
Bhushan and Yadav were expelled by NC meeting from National Executive.
“Such was the ferocity of the mob of these MLAs and others as they rushed towards my father, that he felt that he may not get out of this alive,” he claimed.
“What has happened subsequent to the 28th, however, has taken the farce to a level where it seems as if a Stalinist purge is taking place in the party. The party’s internal Lokpal, a person of immense stature and independence, has been removed unconstitutionally, merely because he expressed his wish to attend the National Council meeting and was seen to be fair,” Bhushan said.
“Other members of the National Executive are being suspended, again unconstitutionally,” he said.
In the letter, Bhushan elaborated on reasons for widening rift with Kejriwal and said the differences started after the Lok Sabha elections.
He said after the Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal felt that the party was “finished” and could only be revived if it were able to form the government again in Delhi.
Bhushan said despite strong opposition from the party leaders, Kejriwal started efforts to get Congress’ support to form government which was one of the major reasons of the rift.
“Instead of abiding by the majority decision, you said that while that may be the majority view, as the Convenor of the party, you have the right to take the final decision, and that you would go ahead with seeking Congress’ support,” he said.
Talking about the AVAM or Aam Aadmi Volunteer Action Manch, which had accused the AAP of receiving funds from shady companies, Bhushan said the group of volunteers wanted their voices heard in the party.
He alleged that there was conspiracy to crush the “rebellion” of the volunteers who felt that they were being used only like “slave labour”. He alleged fabricated SMS was used to defame AVAM.
In the letter, Bhushan also slammed Kejriwal for not following laid down norms in candidate selection for Delhi polls.
“I had said that rather than winning by these kinds of candidates and means, it’s better to go with honourable candidates and run the risk of a possible loss. Because winning with these kinds of candidates and means destroys the founding principles of the party in the short run, and will destroy the party itself in the long run,” he said.
Bhushan further said,”Your coterie have also accused my father, my sister and myself of trying to capture the party. Arvind, you know very well that none of us have even wanted any executive positions or tickets for ourselves or any friends or family members.”