AAP split wide open
The ugly power struggle convulsing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is moving towards its inevitable conclusion. Founder members and senior ideologues Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan are facing near certain expulsion, after the duo was ousted from the party’s tiol Executive. Admiral (retd) L Ramdas too has been shunted out from the AAP interl Lokpal. Yadav and Bhushan have been charged with ‘backstabbing and hatching conspiracies’ by Arvind Kejriwal loyalists. Social activist Medha Patkar has left the AAP in anguish, voicing doubts about the future of ‘altertive politics’ in the country. But the writing was on the wall when Kejriwal parted ways with An Hazare in 2012 to give a political shape to the civil society agitation. The spectacular debut of the AAP in 2013 Delhi elections, reaffirmed by its landslide win this year has proved that Kejriwal is their prime vote catcher. To be the party’s undisputed leader, he cannot encourage other power centers nor a degree of inner democracy that can challenge him. rendra Modi did the same thing when he sidelined and neutralized BJP old-timers like LK Advani to become the party’s prime ministerial face. Kejriwal has been propelled to power on a mandate he has termed ‘scary’. Indeed, he needs to deliver to Delhites fast, effectively rule a quasi state with limited powers, while negotiating with a BJP government at the Centre determined to checkmate him at every turn and prevent AAP from spreading out from the capital. Kejriwal has his task cut out, and so must ‘do in Rome as the Romans do’.