AAP politics: To target Yogendra Yadav, critics in party play tape of call with journalist

The article was critical of the party’s strategy in Punjab and Haryana, particularly the AAP’s decision not to contest the Assembly elections.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Anubhuti Vishnoi & Maneesh Chhibbernew Delhi | Updated: March 3, 2015 11:51 am
AAP, Yogendra Yadav, Yogendra Yadav AAP, Aam Aadmi Party, Arvind Kejriwal Since the Lok Sabha rout, Yadav and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan have raised questions on inner-party democracy and a personality cult within the AAP revolving around Kejriwal.

The Aam Aadmi Party recorded a telephonic conversation with a journalist — without her knowledge — who wrote a critical piece on the party and that recording is now being used to build a case against Yogendra Yadav in the ongoing feud within the party.

In the conversation, held on August 29, 2014, Bibhav Kumar, now personal aide to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, called Chander Suta Dogra, then working with The Hindu and now Associate Editor with The Indian Express, over her piece “Fading promise of the Indian Spring” published in The Hindu that day.

Chander Suta Dogra’s piece: ‘Kejriwal aide called to trash Yadav’s version, didn’t say conversation was being recorded’

The article was critical of the party’s strategy in Punjab and Haryana, particularly the AAP’s decision not to contest the Assembly elections. According to the article, the Haryana AAP unit — Yadav was a leading member — had established a formidable structure and most volunteers were enthusiastic of contesting state polls, a decision which was vetoed by Kejriwal, AAP national convenor.

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Kumar, according to the recording — made public by a section of AAP today — called Dogra and claimed there were factual errors in her piece. To which Dogra said that it was based on remarks made by a top AAP leader who had called an informal breakfast meeting with her and four other journalists.

“Kinhone bataya (Who told you),” Kumar asks, according to the recording posted online. To which, Dogra replies, “…Yogendra Yadav had called three or four journalists for a breakfast meeting.”

Kumar was unavailable for comment despite several calls and text messages.

When asked why the recording was made and at whose behest, AAP spokesperson Deepak Bajpai told The Indian Express: “The national executive has been made aware of the matter. We would not like to comment on something that’s an internal party matter, this will all be discussed internally in the national executive (on March 4).”

This recording was brought up at the heated National Executive meeting on February 26 — first reported in The Indian Express — and finds mention in Delhi Secretary Dilip Pandey’s letter to the Disciplinary Committee, where he presents this as proof of “anti-party activities” by Yadav.

In his letter Pandey wrote, “There was a negative story published in The Hindu in last week of August, 2014. The story was negative and was clearly meant to tarnish the image of Party and its convenor Arvind Kejriwal. The story was not only factually incorrect it seemed motivated by vested interests. When the journalist who did the story was confronted as to why the facts were misrepresented, she said it could not be so as she was briefed by Mr Yogendra Yadav himself. This whole conversation was recorded and is available as evidence. This incident further substantiates the factum of the larger conspiracy to weaken the party.”

When contacted, Yadav told The Indian Express: “It’s a double jeopardy: a journalist reveals her source, holds the wrong person responsible to cover her tracks, someone does clandestine recording and then makes it public for settling inner-party dispute. So happens that I am at the receiving end of ethical violation from both ends.”

Since the Lok Sabha rout, Yadav and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan have raised questions on inner-party democracy and a personality cult within the AAP revolving around Kejriwal. Their detractors have used the recording as evidence of Yadav attempting to undercut Kejriwal to “usurp” the post of national convenor of the party.

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  1. S
    Selva
    Mar 3, 2015 at 11:49 am
    LOL, See the way this so-called idealistic party fighting against their founder members, All founding members are going to be removed - Shanti bhushan / Prashant Bhushan / Ilmi / YY .............. and the list grows.... all because to protect one MAN - AK67..... Oops, this is the party we funded and voted ! God Forgive us for our Sin once again..... We never voted for One Man - we voted for AAP including the ideals of the founding members............. its like throwing Mahatma out of Congress .........
    Reply
    1. M
      Mohit Gupta
      Mar 3, 2015 at 8:05 am
      So what? YY was against the decision to not contest in Haryana. Yes he was vocal to lay interests of thousands of volunteers of Haryana. He gave the reasons to contest elections. To say that he maligned AK is analogous to say that AK maligned anna.
      Reply
      1. R
        Raj
        Mar 3, 2015 at 1:27 pm
        Kam se kam BJP mein election to hota hai leader chun ne ke liye. Aap mein to Hitler baitha hai
        Reply
        1. A
          Andy
          Mar 3, 2015 at 9:02 am
          Who is the 'Nixon' in this 'WaterGate' Audio?
          Reply
          1. A
            Aneel
            Mar 3, 2015 at 11:20 am
            RIP AAP.....
            Reply
            1. A
              Anuradha Kalhan
              Mar 3, 2015 at 11:14 am
              The problem with Mr Yadav is that he does not know how to fit into Delhi party and what to do outside Delhi which will be noticed. He is too academic and will not fit in the actual, mundane world of running an administration that is delivering on simple promises in a small city state. Although there would have been a role he could have carved out for himself to support the administration quietly if he thought less of himself or of visions of a spring before the winter of actual delivery of a tangible difference in the lives of ordinary people.
              Reply
              1. J
                John
                Mar 3, 2015 at 1:23 pm
                its interesting how all the english news channels are completely sidelining this news except for few lines here and there but are always keen on pouncing on any discord between the bjp members...
                Reply
                1. S
                  SOuthee
                  Mar 3, 2015 at 11:00 am
                  this is clearly below kejriwal's level its definitely manish sisodia
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    Daitary Nayak
                    Mar 3, 2015 at 8:16 pm
                    We are listening from various sources that bossism is there in AAP which will be proved shortly. Now the matter is that after getting huge mandate from Delhi Kejirwalji seems became autocratic. So, time will say the next
                    Reply
                    1. G
                      Guest4321
                      Mar 3, 2015 at 9:55 am
                      et tu kejriwal
                      Reply
                      1. G
                        Gopal
                        Mar 3, 2015 at 8:46 am
                        There is much muck raking going on. At the core is the fact that YY is a long time member of the establishment. He was close to the congress. He has also been a member of the UGC and is part of the academic circles that are good at cultivating politicians. Such a person does not belong in a party that on the surface claims to be for decentralization, though its policies don't quite match up either. It would be best if YY were to leave and pursue his own path.
                        Reply
                        1. G
                          gspal
                          Mar 6, 2015 at 4:55 pm
                          Discipline needs to be maintained in AAP. AK has organized and led this party from the grroots. Prashant and Yogendera have been openly making their criticism of AK public via the media in an attempt to shake the peoples confidence in the party. Both of these jokers must go. It was great when the other group of dissidents joined BJP before Delhi embly elections (and got a bashing of their lifetime at the hustings). United AAP is a great slogan, but it does not mean and include troublemakers like Prashant and Yogendera who have their own ambitions to rule and use AAP. We want AK to run the show for now.
                          Reply
                          1. H
                            Hiral Patel
                            Mar 3, 2015 at 11:44 am
                            ગૂગલ જલ્દી લોન્ચ કરશે એન્ડ્રોઇડ પે સર્વિસ
                            Reply
                            1. C
                              commonman
                              Mar 3, 2015 at 11:19 pm
                              At least people who are against AAP and were deeply hurt by the defeat at the hands of the party can vent their feelings and get some pleasure for the time being. This will all die within one month and after the din the AAP as a party will rise stronger and more vigilant. Move on AAP forward with the promises made to Delhites.
                              Reply
                              1. T
                                Tomar
                                Mar 3, 2015 at 9:42 am
                                had not expected AAP to fall to such dirty levels, that too Kejriwal.
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  ashok
                                  Mar 3, 2015 at 10:01 am
                                  Politics is about the pursuit of power, which AAP has acquired in Delhi. People interested in philanthropy join the Missionaries of Charity. What use that power is put to, the Indian system is replete with instances of that as well. Time will show if AK 67 and his merry band of men are any different. I am not holding my breath.
                                  Reply
                                  1. K
                                    Kulikal
                                    Mar 3, 2015 at 10:22 am
                                    AAP unfortunately has become like any other party. Shanti Bhushan, now seem correct on his views. Sad, I didnt heed much to his views then, and now feel let down of voting just another party.
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      M Vyas
                                      Mar 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm
                                      All aam adami of Delhi say AAP is a one man centric party. But now party will not listen to aadami and will listen one person. People of Delhi got let down, feeling prevail and getting momentum.
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        M Vyas
                                        Mar 3, 2015 at 12:55 pm
                                        Like AAP having National Executive Committee, Political affairs Committee, internal Lokpal, Congress is also has CWC, AICC, Chairman, Vice Chairman but who listen to who. In congress it is Madam and coterie of Amar, Ahmed, Akabar, Anthony and in AAP it is coterie of Sanjay Singh, Sisodia, Pankaj.
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          M Vyas
                                          Mar 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm
                                          Party of lot of journalists trained, expert and habituated to look for and to expose in-camera deal so nothing wrong what is happening in AAP. One member also journo and roudi spokesperson is missing from the scene Mr. Kheitan. Prashantiji is in his profession very much but those who left or lost like Ashish, Ashutosh, Yogendra, Pandey should go back since there is a danger mark of very survival of AAP.
                                          Reply
                                          1. M
                                            Mayur Panghaal
                                            Mar 3, 2015 at 4:17 pm
                                            A question for all Yogendra yadav believers......Why did Yogendra yadav fight his election from a safe seat like Gurgaon when everybody worth his salt was fighting big guns like rahul hi and modi ? Gurgaon has a large yadav potion. When you find the answer,let me know. Lol
                                            Reply
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