Interview: ‘There are differing views but no factions,’ says Ashutosh

We are probably the fastest growing party in the country. Our track record, of forming a government in Delhi twice and being the principal opposition in Punjab, is not bad for a party that’s three-and-a-half years old, said Ashutosh

Written by Mallica Joshi | New Delhi | Updated: May 14, 2017 12:55 am
Ashutosh, AAP, Aam Admi Party, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal, AAP Ashutosh, Indian Express, Indian Express News Ashutosh (PTI photo)

The allegation that Arvind Kejriwal is an autocratic leader has surfaced again.  This is a very old allegation that keeps surfacing over and over again. Arvind (Kejriwal) is the chosen leader of the party. Ours is a democratic party where people can voice their opinion. There is no merit to these allegations.

It seems there are two factions in the party. How is AAP dealing with this?

There are differing views in the party. This is a party that allows a platform for people to air their views. We are completely tolerant of that, as long as what they say or do is not anti-party. They are not factions, but opinions. What is important is that there is a difference-resolution system within the party.

What are the party’s plans in the other states after the results of the Punjab and Goa elections?

The AAP has national appeal and is a growing party. That is the reason we contested in Punjab and Goa. We are probably the fastest growing party in the country. Our track record, of forming a government in Delhi twice and being the opposition in Punjab, is not bad for a party that’s three-and-a-half years old.

Is the party struggling financially?

There has always been an attempt to create a controversy around AAP’s funding. All of our funding is declared and accounted for. We have been investigated and cleared. We removed the donor list from our website because the Modi government was going after our donors. As for the dip in donations, that has always been the case when we are not in election mode. It is like a war and peace situation. We don’t address our donors when there is no election. In any case, our party does not need crores and crores of money.

The AAP does not seem to have a unifying ideology.

It’s an oft-repeated statement that has no merit. AAP’s vision is that of a corruption-free country. We are a modern party with modern sensibilities. We believe in nationalism but not of the BJP’s brand. We believe in secularism, not of the Congress’ brand. These allegations hold no water.

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