Ouster of Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Anand Kumar from AAP National Council is unfortunate; but is not surprising. There are reasons for it.
Yesterday a resolution to remove the two AAP dissident leaders, Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, along with their supporters professor Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha from the powerful panel was passed at the AAP National Council. 247 members supported the resolution, 10 members opposed it while 54 others did not take part in the voting.
The removal opens the process of the ouster of the four from the party. An unfortunate event when these people showed faith in AAP, when no one did.
Why this happened? After all four were among the founding members of AAP.
To get the answer we have to look into things beyond the recent blame game.
Below is my list of the factors which contributed to the present crisis, which I believe will intensify in coming days and months:
1. Was AAP’s formation really for Change?
Yes it was. But not in a way most people see it.
People are told that AAP’s formation was for transparency and crusade against corruption. I think the reason is something else. The reason was to benefit from anti-congress sentiment.
This becomes evident when one looks at the vote share of BJP in the recent two Delhi Assembly Elections. In the 2013 Delhi Assembly Elections BJP got 33 percent votes. In 2015 BJP got 32.5 percent. In contrast, while AAP surged to 56 percent votes in 2015, Congress got reduced to approx. 6 percent.
Actually AAP’s formation was to make Delhi Polls multi polar. But interestingly, Congress’s tactic of removing it from the contest in 2015 resulted in a bipolar contest between BJP and AAP. This resulted in BJP getting decimated to just three seats in 2015 (although decrease in vote share was just 0.5 percent).
Later, BJP tried its best to blame Kiran Bedi for the defeat, but Kiran Bedi was never a significant factor in BJP’s poor showing in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls. As even after much publicised ‘disappointment among BJP cadres and voters’, the party’s vote share decreased just 0.5 percent.
2. No Ideological pivot to adhere to
It’s wrongly said that Congress has no ideology. It has the ideology of Secularism. The concept of secularism is not pseudo, as many want us to believe. It’s a real thing. A secular person doesn’t hate or feel threatened from other religions. Plain and simple.
AAP unfortunately had no ideological monolith to adhere to.
AAP has all sorts of ideologies under one roof. There are socialists, right-wing ideologues, liberals, seculars etc. In an interview recently, Kumar Vishwas even accepted that he does have a rightist bend. Yogendra Yadav, Prashant yadav, Medha Patkar represent a different ideological bent. In short, it’s hard to contain such diverse opinions under one roof.
What happened in AAP’s National Council yesterday, was simply a war of ideologies and the resulting way of functioning, where one groups wanted free debate and democracy; while the other became a personality cult with autocratic tendencies.
3. All sort of people came to AAP
I will not say, AAP’s creation was entirely selfish. It was not. Some individuals really tried to give an alternate kind of politics. The politics which is clean and participative. But all sort of people came to AAP. These people have their own agendas and they saw AAP as an opportunity to further it. Take for instance, Journalist Ashutosh Gupta, he resigned from his job and joined AAP. What motivated him to take such a life altering decision? one must ask.
Do some people want AAP to dismantle ? This possibility can’t be ruled out either. Simply because for some AAP might have already served its purpose. For some others, AAP might have become a game spoiler, especially after the 2015 Assembly Election results.
Internal discord in parties is not uncommon. But the way AAP curbed dissenting voices within it, is surprising. Especially when it promised free speech within.