‘Dear Arvind Kejriwal, our own volunteers voted against us in MCD elections… here’s why’

Aam Aadmi Party can still be a game changer, provided we stick to the idealism for which we came into politics.

Written by Dr Munish Raizada | Published:May 1, 2017 1:43 pm
Arvind Kejriwal, AAP, AAP Chief Kejriwal, MCD elections, MCD results, AAP MCD results, AAP volunteers, AAP MCD loss, news, kejriwal, kejriwal defeat AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Dear Arvind,

Your message via Twitter after the defeat in the MCD elections shows your reflective mood: “The reality is obvious. Yes, we made mistakes, but we will introspect and course correct.” And you add: “The people deserve nothing less. The only thing constant is change.”

After months of brutal attacks on PM Narendra Modi and weeks of incessant attack on an otherwise earnest stroke of demonetisation followed by an orgy on EVMs, these words indicate a pensive state of affairs on your part. You stopped short of sorry.

I am reminded of the same sorry to the public and volunteers after our party’s abysmal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, too.

What happened in Punjab and Delhi is not surprising. The anger, frustration, and a feeling of being duped had been building up among the Delhi public over the past two years. We came to power in Delhi with a promise of “Paanch Saal Kejriwal”, but Delhi public soon realised that the CM and the MLAs were busy propping up the party in other states. Naturally, the Delhi voters cast their verdict by abandoning us in MCD elections.

The same applies to party workers, too. After the Punjab assembly election results on March 11, I have been interacting with volunteers in Delhi on the ground. Our steadfast, committed volunteers were in the same boat — confused and disoriented — but was anyone available to listen to them and address the concerns?

After the apology of Lok Sabha elections, volunteers were promised a fair game in meetings at Constitution Club. They rallied behind you, toiled hard to get you 67 seats, but as soon as we got the victory, the attitude started changing.

In the last two years, the party has transformed into a private enterprise. You and the coterie you chose to surround yourself with have purposefully killed the very principles for which AAP was formed. I have no hesitation in saying that you did it so that your private club called AAP can ruthlessly concentrate power and pursue your design. Where were you in last several months when your own party’s volunteers and supporters were making fervent appeals to you for Chande kee paardarshita (restoration of donations online)? What has ‘forced’ you to hide public’s hard earned Chanda (donations) given to AAP while the party claims itself as a champion of politics of clean money?

Is it not a farce? How can we even talk of fighting corruption, when we are not willing to keep our accounts transparent?

Similarly, where were you when your own original volunteers in small or large groups were made to wait outside your residence over the last several weeks with complaints and concerns over ticket distribution, and allegations of ticket selling in MCD elections? They were largely unable to meet you. The women wing of Delhi –which propped up our party- today stands scattered despite 50 per cent seats being reserved for them in MCD elections. When it came to ticket distribution, women wing’s members were largely bypassed. There is widespread resentment in volunteers that tickets were sold and nepotism was widely practiced through dummy candidates. My question to you: In a largely volunteer-driven party, why did you mercilessly kill the concept of Swaraj (inner party democracy), despite our party claiming that “Satta neeche se upar aayegi?” On top of it, due to a dysfunctional internal Lokpal system, the complainants had no meaningful way to get their grievances resolved.

I can give you one very true feedback, which your coterie will never tell you. Volunteers of our own party played a significant role – albeit that energy might have been in a scattered manner- in defeating our own party in MCD elections. Some opposed, some chose to sit quite, some supported other candidates and some did Satyagraha, but they did what they could to register their protest to silencing of the principles for which AAP was created.

But, Arvind, four years down the lane, I am not inclined to listen to your usual farcical apology.

If you really mean ‘by going back to the drawing board’, then you must restore the three founding principles immediately because they constitute the original drawing board: Make donations public, set up Swaraj in an earnest manner, and create an ‘independent’ Internal Lokpal.

The cleaning process must start from you because that is where the rot has accumulated. As you said, the need is action and not excuses. True, that is why rather than ceremonial resignations of a few ‘leaders’ around you, must not they exit from PAC and NEC too? In last four years, the satta has revolved around a few chosen ones with often responsibilities changing as in musical chair game. Now, even the remotely sitting volunteer can see through that.

The buck starts with you and it stops with you. As a first step, are you willing to shed multiple responsibilities that you have accumulated around you? Let us start earnestly with our often-preached principle of one person: one post!

Aam Aadmi Party can still be a game changer, provided we stick to the idealism for which we came into politics. That will require statesmanship on your part, and not the politics of insecurity, gagging, manipulations and mudslinging that we have increasingly seen in the last two years.

- The author is a suspended member of Aam Aadmi Party and ex-co- convener of NRI cell of the party. He is convener of Chanda Bandh Satyagraha against AAP. Twitter @DrMunishRaizada

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  1. B
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    May 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm
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    Reply
    1. G
      Ganesh G
      May 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm
      Another aggrieved Sugreev
      Reply
      1. H
        Hanuman
        May 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm
        The piece shows more what is wrong with the "followers" of Kejriwal than what is wrong with Kejriwal himself. When Raizada says "The buck starts with you and it stops with you", and at the same time also says , "But, Arvind, four years down the lane, I am not inclined to listen to your usual farcical apology", it shows the political bankruptcy of the so-called anti-corruption movement of the new rich working NRI young of India. Do you trust or not trust your chosen TV-anointed hero? The fact is that these NRIs want to showcase a Europe-like India to the USA, and therefore want to outsource this task to someone fighting on the streets of India, promising money. Perhaps without their money, Kejriwal would have remained what he had been -- a fighter NGO. Better. Now he has become a political clown with a lot of self-righteousness. Yet, the NRIs are still asking him to apply for their ISO certification! You went out of the country to better future, then live there happily. Leave us alone.
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          RS
          May 5, 2017 at 1:51 am
          All of what you have said has some merit. But to dismiss medd with the EVMs is just naive, It is with 99 certainty that the EVMs have been mani-pu-lated though the use of malicious software to declare BJP the winner in UP and Delhi. If you cannot grasp this then you need to look for another profession than analyzing what AAP did wrong. I am not defending Kejriwal or AAP, Personally I would like to see Kejriwal removed from his position within the party. But those that are attacking him are also missing the obvious. It is the EVMs, EVMs, EVMs.
          Reply
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            Math
            May 6, 2017 at 9:12 am
            There is no significant software in the EVMs as these leaders have u believe. At best some firmware. Why would BJP get only 36 votes and yet ac ulate so many seats. Do you think any piece of software can be so accurately manipulated ?
            Reply
          2. M
            m
            May 4, 2017 at 3:28 pm
            Wow This article is so good For Advertise for b in tv, newspaper, Radio, Hotstar contact - www.mypaperad
            Reply
            1. R
              rajan
              May 4, 2017 at 2:18 pm
              The name of the donors may have been withheld for protecting them from harassment by the Modi government. Yet it shouldn't be the reason to conceal their iden y. The first thing that needs to be done is to bring the eminent faces of Prashanth Bhushan& Yadav back into the party in an honourable way. Revoke the suspension of Dharamveer Ga-nd-hi. Shed egos & pay heed to the devoted workers
              Reply
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                Naresh Kumar Batchu
                May 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm
                Bewakuf, no one should afraid for giving Chanda to PaaP party, unless its through dubious source. Just because you give Chanda to Paap party, you will not become saint and you should not fear if you havent done anything wrong.
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                Lokesh Madan
                May 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm
                1. Donations are pulled off the website due to raids by IT dept. anyways, in comparison to other parties like BJP, the amount in miniscule - so not a issue that can be adressed at the moment because of the aggressive and vindictive nature of Pradhan Sewak. 2. Yes - some points mentioned are correct and expected to be taken care of. 3. Volunteer base of AAP is also no comparison to cadre of BJP - no doubt. It is fence sitters who believed the PR machinery that election was a referendum and not anti-in bency.
                Reply
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                  Math
                  May 6, 2017 at 9:17 am
                  If volunteer base of AAP is miniscule compared to the BJP, how did they win 67 seats ? People have rejected Kejriwal due to the negative campaign and irreverent things Kejriwal has said about anything that comes in his way to becoming the PM. We all had hopes, but I will never vote for Kejriwal or AAP ever. The election was not a referendum for the BJP... It was a total rejection of Kejriwal and hence, AAP.
                  Reply
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                    Naresh Kumar Batchu
                    May 6, 2017 at 3:03 pm
                    Bewakuf, no one should afraid for giving Chanda to PaaP party, unless its through dubious source. Just because you give Chanda to Paap party, you will not become saint and you should not fear if you havent done anything wrong.
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      Naresh Kumar Batchu
                      May 6, 2017 at 3:03 pm
                      Bewakuf, no one should afraid for giving Chanda to PaaP party, unless its through dubious source. Just because you give Chanda to Paap party, you will not become saint and you should not fear if you havent done anything wrong.
                      Reply
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                      Matty
                      May 3, 2017 at 2:21 pm
                      Kejriwal needs to outsource the job of bickering over Modi and BJP to some spokesmen and focus on governing Delhi and organising the party quietly!
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                        Deepanshu Arora
                        May 2, 2017 at 5:14 pm
                        This is just media narrative. Kejriwal's work in the city has been good. He has worked for the poor. He just failed to appease to the middle cl because they eat up the media narrative. He made mohalla clinics which were discussed in France and USA. He provided us with free water but upto a limit. He has always had a stance of not taking donations from big corporates. And never done any favours for big companies unlike BJP and congress.
                        Reply
                        1. V
                          Vk
                          May 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm
                          Hahahah mohalla clinic run by unqualified nurses and docs was jike in US read it liar
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            RS
                            May 5, 2017 at 1:59 am
                            You will never convince these Khaki Nikkar Walas of this. True, AAP has done a lot of good. But Kejriwal is B-A-D for AAP. We need to find a way to rid ourselves of this ego maniac. He has caused a great deal of harm to AAP by kicking out of the party anyone and everyone who disagreed with his dictatorial control of AAP. He will never change, he is incapable of changing. The only solution is to ouster him from AAP for the sake of the party.
                            Reply
                            1. V
                              Vijay
                              May 5, 2017 at 2:17 am
                              Looks like propa a to malign AAP Kejriwal is the best. Spread your twisting lies somewhere else. We have been seeing all kinds of negative and manipulative comments...
                            2. M
                              Math
                              May 6, 2017 at 9:25 am
                              If only middle cl is unhappy, why has he lost so badly. Only 48 out of 272 (17 seats). Does the middle cl comprise of 83 ? It is not just a narrative. The results are on the ground. He has been completely disruptive and we dont want a person who will spend his time in office throwing accusations (Modi is a psychopath, Modi is trying to get him killed, najeeb Jung will crawl to the Home Ministers house etc). He cant work with a team, how can he run a country ?
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                              Raghu
                              May 2, 2017 at 5:13 pm
                              Number one ch.o.re...mo.th.er...ch.o.de...this Kejri d.o.g. waste of time reading about him n aap.
                              Reply
                              1. H
                                Harish Narendrula
                                May 2, 2017 at 2:50 pm
                                Appreciate the analysis and suggestions w heartedly , don't understand why not raise unbiasedly the same points against BJP and why aim only at AAP, all these questions of Nepotism, Tickets Quota to Women , Volunteers Dissatisfactiin & Revolt, Leader's Ego, Funds Transperancy Online. Introspection on Loosing Elections. Questions and suggestions would have been valid, honored and taken to heart if below are attended Why not talk on why BJP rejects or holds all public service orders p ed by AAP. Why BJP held AAP's Lokpal Bill, Why not take action against Robert Wadra , Sheila Dik , Sonia hi, Why hijacked Anti Corruption Beuro un constiutiinally from Delhi State Government, Why BJP took no action on DDCA, Vyapam Scam, Loan Defaulter Corporates, Why BJP did something significantly serious on Farmers Suicide, Profitable Farming & why not BJP Maintain Consumer Prices Low ? And surprisingly Why Media supports extensively only BJP and Why not raise questions ?
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                                1. V
                                  Vijay
                                  May 4, 2017 at 11:43 pm
                                  All valid questions. Regards.
                                  Reply
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                                  M.S.K.Dhev
                                  May 2, 2017 at 8:18 am
                                  It has been repeatedly told that the donors were targeted.
                                  Reply
                                  1. N
                                    Naresh Kumar Batchu
                                    May 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm
                                    No one should afraid for giving Chanda to PaaP party, unless its through dubious source. Just because you give Chanda to Paap party, you will not become saint and you should not fear if you havent done anything wrong.
                                    Reply
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                                    murali
                                    May 2, 2017 at 2:33 am
                                    Sir, this is a biased article from someone who claims to be doing good to AAP.No wonder he was expelled from the party. A defeat calls for discussion and course correction. But can the author deny the fact that Mr. Arvind kejriwal is one of the pillars of opposition in this county? or the fact that demonitisation has not produced results on the issues it set out to solve? Mr.Modi may be famous for the time being, thanks to the better image management and spin doctors of BJP. But as JFK said, " you can cheat some people for a long time; More people for some time; but you cannot cheat all the people all the time". Simply creating illusion of "development" is not development. Only time is needed to call Mr.Modi's bluff. Because of an electoral defeat, AAPs core principles and politics should not be changed. Doing that are asking someone to do that is equal to betraying your conscience and it is called political pros ution. AAP should never do that. This is the true wish of vluntenteers
                                    Reply
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                                      Venkatraman Shenoy
                                      May 2, 2017 at 11:40 am
                                      Dear Mr.Murali, please note that the subject under discussion is Kejriwal and AAP and not Modi, which subject you can discuss at your convenience. You cannot be so naive that AAP is now in such dire straits "because of an electoral defeat". In fact your party has had a string of defeats, starting with Punjab. The you lost in Goa, the Rajouri Garden MLA seat and then the mother of all defeats, MCD.
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                                      Pinna
                                      May 2, 2017 at 12:53 am
                                      Kejri lost the confidence of public and his own credibility by talking too much! There is a limit of criticism too, but when you overdo it, it brings in negativism. How much time he lost on issues, rather non issues like Mod's degree and with which outcome? He lost all the respect when he challenged our military's surgical strike. The final nail in the coffin turned out to be doubting the integrity of EVMs. He could have easily fill in the vacuum created by Congress, but alas! He is a perfect case of
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                                        Saxena
                                        May 1, 2017 at 8:59 pm
                                        You said that you are an engineer and what not ....I can temper E V M in many ways ....But where was your great intelligence when you were examining Mr Tomar's degree ....
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                                          Radheshyam Sharma
                                          May 1, 2017 at 8:59 pm
                                          The picture itself shows the state of affairs. Kejriwal has his back to the complainant showing that he has scant respect for his very reasonable analysis.
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                                            dashrath
                                            May 1, 2017 at 8:22 pm
                                            BJP became successful in propa a against AK and AAP ! These days BJP is matchless in propa a! People fell victims to the tricks of BJP !
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                                              Vk
                                              May 3, 2017 at 5:49 pm
                                              So how khujli is different? ??? Balant liar read 2015 manifesto. If you are same as others don't claim honestly simple reason for defeat
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                                              S Subramaniam
                                              May 1, 2017 at 7:55 pm
                                              I too had lot of expectations from AAP and it's leaders. But the way it unfolded and policy of rebellion and use of unparliamentary words has brought their own downfall. Anna Hazare with whom Arvind Kejriwal was ociated had criticised the AAP and it's leaders. Instead of taking criticism in its proper perspective he too has been b ed as BJP's man. One thing is certain those who rise suddenly will also fall in similar fashion.
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                                                Dhirendra Mishra
                                                May 1, 2017 at 7:53 pm
                                                Aap ground zero or real condition reflects in your story. Kejriwal forget everything. No chance to comeback.
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                                                  ak dev
                                                  May 1, 2017 at 6:47 pm
                                                  The only way to save AAP is to kick out him and four others around him. Expecting him to become gentleman would be deceiving the self.
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                                                    Vel
                                                    May 1, 2017 at 6:18 pm
                                                    AAP leader have to correct his action and behavior like pro CM to support development of Delhi, focus to establish good governance and win trust of people. He can't afford to bash centerline government and appoint LG for everything. Stop the drama and get in to action and be responsible for public funds. Display leadership by setting example of himself, if he can't do that is fine then let others who have caliber come forward and take he reins and bring freshness to the party. Let Kejari take the back seat and shut his gutter mouth and not support any anti national elements and no negative remarks on Modi's initiative. This will help the AAP in Indian politics, if Kejari continue to lead the AAP, the party will be wiped out in next election and no existences at all in union territory level and forget becoming national party for ever
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