Differences within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) again came to fore when its patron Shanti Bhushan hit out at Arvind Kejriwal, questioning his organisational skills and internal democracy in the party.
“Arvind (Kejriwal) is a great leader and a great campaigner, but in my opinion he lacks organisational ability. He does not have the kind of competence which can spread the message of the party all over India, which can quickly create elected structures of the party which nobody will be able to blame,” Bhushan said.
“Therefore this delay of 2 years in getting the elected structures in place is a great handicap. This is resulting in different voices,” he told ‘Times Now’.
The criticism coming from the party patron assumes significance as there has been a discontent brewing within the party cadre and even some senior leaders over “lack of democracy” and “Swaraj” at the time when it is gearing up for assembly elections after its drubbing in Lok Sabha polls.
The party last month sacked Karan Singh, a senior volunteer, after he along with other party workers formed AAP Volunteers Vichar Manch (AVAM) to raise issues concerning volunteers, complaining lack of internal democracy in the party. Bhushan had come out in support of AVAM.
The senior lawyer said that since Kejriwal is not an elected leader he cannot claim to be the sole voice of the party.
“Today, since he does not owe his position as an elected person by all India members of the party therefore he cannot say his voice is the sole voice of the party. Possibly, he thinks that because the National Council appointed him as convenor of the National Executive which is why he probably feels his voice is the main”, he said.
Meanwhile, the party has said that it does not agree with the comments made by Bhushan.
“The criticism by Bhushan, who is himself one of the founding members of the party, on this issue is misplaced.
“The biggest example of internal democracy is the party’s decision to contest Lok Sabha elections on a large number of seats, despite opposition from the AAP national convenor, Arvind Kejriwal,” the party said.