AAP's internal Lokpal claims two camps, breakdown of trust
New Delhi, (IANS) Amid reports of internal rumblings in AAP, the party's internal Lokpal, Admiral L. Ramdas (retd) warned of "two camps" and "abject breakdown in trust between topmost leadership" and sought clear signals that all senior party members were united.
In a letter, for the members of the national executive and political affairs committee ahead of party's meeting Feb 26, Ramdas said the party's stunning victory in Delhi polls had raised hopes of restoration of positive energy and that many mutual suspicions would be put to rest.
"Alas, this was not to be, and most recently while in Delhi during the results and swearing in, I also spent many hours in many difficult conversations where many of the old ghosts were constantly raising their heads," said the former navy chief.
Noting he had taken upon himself the role of an "elder statesman" to "nurture AAP and its potential as the only political entity in the country today which can change the way politics is practiced", he said his role was to unambiguously point out mistakes.
He noted "compromises have been evident in many areas -and from all sectors - with no single person exempt from some element of responsibility for the present impasse".
Referring to criticism within party regarding decision-making and democracy, he said it should be analysed by an independent group by an internal audit.
"During the past six to eight months, there has been an abject breakdown in communications and mutual trust amongst the topmost leadership of the party. This has in my view led to the growth of two camps within the party and loose talk about conspiracies," Ramdas said.
"This is unacceptable and shows that we are no different from any of the parties whom we criticise so vocally," he said, urging the party leadership to stop listening to rumours and discourage colleagues continually bringing negative feedback.
In the letter, he also said there was a "crisis situation" ahead of the Delhi elections over party leader Prashant Bhushan's unhappiness with candidate selection and decision-making processes and his threat to resign over the issue.
"To contain this, a special meeting was called in Delhi on January 3-4, where a decision was taken to refer the issue to the AAP Lokpal, assisted by a specially selected team," he said.
In an apparent reference to Arvind Kejriwal, Ramdas asked whether "chief minister of a state and national convenor if she/he be the same person be in a position to discharge both the duties efficiently?" and whether co-convenors were needed.
He also said he has been "aghast at the way in which decisions taken in our meetings were leaked within minutes".
"Every email and letter I have sent out seems to become common knowledge and often has found its way to the media!..We need to discuss whether some form of inner party discipline is required within our own core committees?" he asked.
"The press and media and our opponents are waiting like vultures to rip AAP apart at the slightest hint of rifts and dissension within," he warned.