1:05 am - Friday November 6, 2015

Live AAP crisis: Party set for a split?

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Talks between the embittered factions of the Aam Aadmi Party seemed to fall apart without any hope of salvation, Thursday night. Dissenting AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav wrote an open letter to party chief and their main foe Arvind Kejriwal, in which they indicted his side of forcing the two to resign from the party’s national executive. Their letter accused Kejriwal and his camp of not being open to any other option and of being geared towards their departure.

The letter, written two days ahead of the crucial national council meet, points out that Kejriwal’s stance has been rigid throughout, it’s either him or them. Just as Kejriwal insisted that he would resign as national convenor if the two weren’t removed from the parliamentary affairs committee, so is his demand of removing them from the NE, the letter says. The letter, and sources from the Bhushan-Yadav camp, say that they never insisted on removing Kejriwal as Convenor, the other camp insists that this was one specific demand.

The Kejriwal camp is bringing up the letter Bhushan and Yadav wrote on March 17, offering to step down from the NE, if their terms were accepted. AAP leader Kumar Vishwas and Ashish Khetan said that the party has accepted most of their demands, implying that the two should now resign. However, Yadav tweeted rubbishing news of their resignation.

This letter also casts Kejriwal in a bad light, saying that despite many efforts from their side he has refused to meet either Bhushan or Yadav since he returned from Bangalore. The letter points out that it has open because all the secrecy in the party so far has created confusion among volunteers. And secrecy makes it seem as if the party’s own principles are not being adhered to.

The entire week, despite denials from interlocutors from both sides, the party had seemed tottering on the verge of a division. The obstacles in the way of the talks seemed too many to surmount after a point.
How this affects the NC meet is to be seen, as many of the PAC’s recent decisions have been to woo state units to Kejriwal’s side. Some of the state units were known to be closer to Yadav, who had long been pushing for autonomy.

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