Friday, July 1, 2016

From ‘Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party’ by Pran Kurup

….Delhi Golf club (DGC)…is situated in the heart of Delhi on almost two hundred acres of prime land, which is leased by the central government. In 2012, the lease period was extended till 2050 ….It was revealed that the land roughly valued at Rs 46,722 crores had been leased to DGC for a paltry sum of Rs 5.82 lakh per annum through 2050. ….the central government was not only providing a significant subsidy to the DGC, but also locking up a valuable publically owned asset without any benefit to the general public. Not surprisingly, the DGC has on its board of directors a host of central government nominees. …offers a stark and deplorable look into the kinds of hidden subsidies that exist only to benefit the wealthy few.

….Arvind has publically stated that he was not in favor of going national and did not want to contest the Lok Sabha election…he had deferred to the rest of the AAP leadership, and the democratic decision was to take the plunge. In hindsight, …the decision turned out to be flawed. ….with just one star campaigner, the decision was fraught with failure.

I suspect that Prashant Bhushan, because of his frequent absence and his apparent “wavelength differential” with the team, psychologically drifted away from this group slowly ….before all hell broke loose. Yogendra Yadav, with his more erudite style and persona, struggled to fit in as well…..A lot of left-leaning intellectuals joined AAP, post IAC and post Delhi 2013. Many of them have ties to Yogendra Yadav and Prashant from their previous careers. This group …….sees itself as being intellectually superior and, to some extent, looks down upon the rest who have come through the ranks….
….Prashant…had very limited time to campaign during Delhi elections. The reason for his back-seat role might have been genuine lack of time, but it fueled rumors and deepened the wedge between the two factions……..

Most of the problems faced by AAP boils down to ….when you need volunteers (of the committed kind…….) you have none. So eventually, those who are available and around, sooner or later, become the go-to guys for the leader.
…….the much maligned coterie, despite its shortcomings, is what makes AAP work. The results of their hard work are seldom advertised or appreciated, but their mistakes are routinely blown out of proportion.

Shanti Bhushan’s assertions – that Yogendra Yadav should be made Convener, his backing of the disgruntled AVAM group, his assertion that Kiran Bedi was a better CM candidate, etc. – badly hurt the party and incensed the volunteers…..Yogendra Yadav…..had struggled to fit into the “cultural core” of the AAP. It was mostly an issue of style and lack of a personal connect with people who were a lot younger and less inclined to intellectualizing everything.

While the PAC meetings were typically scheduled to suit Prashant’s timings and availability, he was not always able to attend. When Prashant did attend, the meetings frequently descended into shouting matches, rendering them completely ineffective and ultimately damaging to internal harmony. So eventually, the meetings were anabdoned……

Following the election, Prashant and Yogendra did not publicly recognize AAP’s victory, or attend the inauguration to partake in the party’s success…

Arvind has, from the very beginning, always enjoyed the support of the majority of the party and its volunteers. His leadership, though perhaps ineffectual at time, is the leadership that the AAP and its supporters want…..

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