Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s decision to expand the party and contest polls in other states is to send a clear message to its rank and file ahead of its National Council meeting that AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal was not opposed to such steps, as was projected by dissident leader Yogendra Yadav.
Sources said that in the first Political Affairs Committee meeting of AAP held following Yadav and Prashant Bhushan’s ouster from the panel, the party had tried to achieve two goals.
One, the Kejriwal camp wanted to ensure they had the numbers in the National Council (NC) meeting, which is to be held next week, in case of any major “crisis” which requires voting.
Second, the party also wanted to send a clear message to the state volunteers, who are in a majority in the NC, that Kejriwal was in favour of even contesting the polls in some states which have good organisational strength.
“Among the state volunteers, there is a large number of supporters of Yadav. If there is any kind of crisis in the NC, we need to have numbers on our side.
“Most NC members are from different states. Yadav has been appeasing the state committees by strongly projecting himself as someone who bats for them. More importantly, he also has influence with the state units,” said a senior party leader.
“This is also to send a message to state volunteers that Arvind is not opposed to contesting polls in the states,” the leader added.
The AAP NC, which has over 300 members, will meet on March 28.
Meanwhile, Yadav welcomed the party’s decisions, saying it was taken to push it the right direction.
“PAC’s decision to involve volunteers in party’s decision- making recognises Swaraj within the party. Looking forward to detailed blueprint.
“Welcome PAC’s statement to expand the organisation nationally & to consider contesting elections outside Delhi. Step in the right direction,” Yadav said in tweets after the meeting.
Incidentally, during his stay for treatment in Bengaluru, Kejriwal had said that the party was not a Napoleon who was looking to conquer states. He said he preferred to focus on Delhi and present it as a model state.
“Everyone says now we have won Delhi, we will win others as well. Are we like Napoleon on a victory march? We have to change the system, so we will have to give a good government and a good system in Delhi.
“If Delhi changes, I have a belief that the whole country will change. We want you guys to give us your ideas and all of you to participate in this,” he had said.
Even in his speech after taking oath as the Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal had said that he would focus on the national capital and not stray this time.
Meanwhile, as to the ongoing crisis within the party, the leader said that today’s meeting was “fruitful” and there could be a positive solution.
Arvind Kejriwal has asked AAP leaders to continue the dialogue so that normalcy could be restored between the warring camps, he said.
The leader added that after meeting Yadav last night, another round of discussions was held with his representatives today. This included National Executive members Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha, both close to Yadav. Another round of discussions is expected to take place today.