Former compatriot and head of Aam Aadmi Party Maharashtra, Mayank Gandhi has assailed Arvind Kejriwal in an acerbic letter that traces the AAP leader’s rise and fall over the last five years.
Gandhi, who left the organization after founder members like Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were “humiliated and expelled” three years ago, said Kejriwal has been led astray by his greed for power.
“I have now become afraid of power. That is why I did not join any group or party after you removed me from the primary membership of the party..” Gandhi said in his open letter.
Gandhi also remembered the ‘good old days’ of camaraderie and unselfish work towards the goal of ‘alternative politics’.
“I remember we used to discuss idealism in politics till late in the night whenever you stayed with us. My daughter, who was part of those discussions, got inspired to become an IRS like you. So, not just me, my entire family believed in your ideals..
I remember how we used to speak for hours about how the personality or high command driven politics of India was destroying the nation– be it Cong or the BJP or the Thackerays or the Laloo, Mayavati and Mulayam. You hated that, then!
When I announced from the stage that you will remove the tubes if you were force fed during your Jantar Mantar fast, there were tears in my eyes along with many others in the audience,” he said, with obvious emotion.
But, said Gandhi, something seemed to go wrong when power was within reach.
“In 2014 you resigned as CM of Delhi hoping that there would be immediate re-election and that AAP would sweep back to power on the back of 49 days of good, intense work. But BJP and Cong delayed the election and Modi swept to power in Parliament.
“To the worry of myself, Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, Prithvi, Admiral Ramdas and others – you started pushing all senior members to agree to form government with the Congress. We refused. You were really furious with us. You were still my hero, but by now I was getting worried with the way you were operating.
“Then the 2015 Delhi elections were announced. While you had around 5000 volunteers from Delhi working part-time with the candidates; I was part of the leadership of over 6000 volunteers from all over the country, campaigning full time for more than a month.
“The silent volunteers, the trusting donors, ardent supporters, tele-callers from Rural India to Global Indians contributed and even Yogendra Yadav who was our Chief Spokesperson contributed for AAP victory. What looked like a possible 15-20 seats to AAP suddenly became 67 seats.
This is when you made THE classic mistake. You took the complete credit and felt that the support of the nation was for Arvind Kejriwal, the person. You assumed that you were the pied piper whom people were following, but in fact it was the music of a new political culture that had people enchanted,” he went on.
The letter is likely to add to Kejriwal’s worries even as many within the party are now left wondering about the outfit’s future under the continued leadership of Kejriwal.
You can listen to Gandhi’s video message below.