Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said he was “deeply hurt and pained by what is going on” in his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is confronting a full-blown war within its top leadership just days after a record election victory in the capital.
“This is betrayal of trust that Delhi posed in us. I refuse to be drawn in this ugly battle. Will concentrate only on Delhi’s governance,” he said in tweets, shortly after party leader and founder member Prashant Bhushan went public with his criticism of him.
In an interview to NDTV, Mr Bhushan said there had been a “breakdown of communication” between him and Mr Kejriwal and he had serious disagreements with how the party is functioning.
“There is a great danger of AAP becoming a one-man show. We didn’t form the party to make it like any other political party where there is a high command and one person calls the shots,” Mr Bhushan said.
On Wednesday, top AAP leaders are expected to meet and decide on whether to remove Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from the party’s decision-making Political Affairs Committee.
A series of leaked letters have exposed the extent of the crisis in AAP.
In a joint letter on February 26, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan wrote about concerns over the functioning of AAP and stressed on the need for an internal ethics committee.
A separate letter by Mr Bhushan on the same day took direct aim at Mr Kejriwal and said, “One-person-centric campaign is making our party look like other parties…Our systems of accountability have become largely dysfunctional.”
Speaking to NDTV, Mr Bhushan repeated his critique and said he would not accept the party straying from its original ideals and compromising for electoral politics.
His remarks triggered a litany of reactions from AAP leaders.
“Prashant Bhushan should have raised the issue of personality cult in the national executive meeting tomorrow. The national executive could have discussed it and taken a call,” said Ashutosh.