New Delhi: As the Aam Aadmi Party gets embroiled in a fresh, and by far its most serious, bout of factional tussle, the chances of it imploding from internal dissension gets bigger. The party may yet manage to find peace but the flurry of allegations and counter allegations involving Yogendra Yadav, the party’s ideologue and only popular intellectual face, and Prashant Bhushan, the party’s conscience keeper, in public space may leave a lasting impact on the two-year old outfit.
With the letters of Yadav and Bhushan post the 26 February National Executive meet becoming public, social media is abuzz with conspiracy theories; and a slander campaign against the duo appears to be in full swing. There are rumours that these senior leaders may be on their way out from the top decision-making bodies and that the ‘other’ faction has taken over total control of the party.
In Post-Lok Sabha election 2014, when AAP and its convener Arvind Kejriwal had been facing severe criticism, Yogendra Yadav targeted him personally and resigned publicly.Yadav’s resignation had nothing to do with Lok Sabha results. At no stage, formally or informally, did he or Prashant Bhushan blame Kejriwal for the poor show. In fact, the letter of resignation of the former did not even refer to the results. Instead of accepting the blame for his wrong vote share projections in Haryana and the rest of India, which misguided the party, Yadav sought to put the onus of failure on Kejriwal. He had told the party that in Haryana, AAP would get 23 percent of the votes but it got only 4 percent.
Yadav did not conduct any survey for the party. In fact, the party did not have money to conduct an all-India survey. He engaged the agency – Cicero on behalf of the party to conduct surveys in Haryana and UP in January-February 2014. In UP it showed that the party was nowhere in the reckoning. In Haryana, the survey was done before AAP resigned in Delhi and it showed the party’s vote share at 22 percent. This fact was confirmed by other independent polls at that time. The party’s fortune in Haryana took a nose-dive after the resignation in Delhi. All this survey data and analysis were shared in a meeting with all the Lok Sabha candidates on 5-6 July. Sources close to Yadav demanded that those making the allegation must produce proof to justify this allegation.