The ongoing fight over the future of Aam Aadmi Party has divided volunteers of the party — the key strength of AAP — into two camps – one that supports Arvind Kejriwal’s power to decide the future, and the other who question Kejriwal camp’s decision to sack others from the party.
The official Facebook Group of Aam Aadmi Party, which has 1.33 lakh members, is seeing both pro- and anti-Kejriwal opinions being expressed by members.
While a section of the members believe that Kejriwal was responsible for the electoral win in Delhi and must be given full powers to mould the party, the other section believe that the party should stick to a more decentralized power stucture.
Unlike other political parties, Aam Aadmi Party was born using the help of social media, and it continues to play an important role in setting the party’s future course of action.
While many AAP Facebook groups do not allow posts that challenge the official stance of the party, the main group (linked above) has been largely tolerant of dissent so far, despite reports of occasional deletion of posts.
Some members have also been removed from the main group. “Whoa! I’ve been Blocked from the AAP Official group for asking “why some another guy was blocked from the group” How Ridiculous can it get,” said long-time AAP volunteer Shubham Agarwal on his profile
“Just noticed few of our own volunteers like Shivani Maya Mirage, Ravi Sharma, etc… are blocked. Would it be possible to unblock them? Thanks,” asked Shibu Devasia in a request to the admins to unblock them.
Yesterday, a poll, which had over close to 200 votes in it, had showed that the majority of those who cast their votes opposed the removal of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. However, the poll was deleted from the official group by one of the administrators.
Despite this, the group has been largely democratic compared to many others, and especially compared to similar groups run by other parties. It has been seeing a large number of posts and comments from disgruntled volunteers questioning the current ‘witch hunt’ of Yadav and Bhushan.
“Some thing went wrong with the Aam Aadmi Party , in the wake of personality cult we have lost true spirit of Swaraj,” noted S P Singh Dua, a long time volunteer of the party from Punjab.
“Arvind Kejriwal just saving his face nothing else… Good use (by AK) of our emotions, time, money and energy,” said London-based volunteer Ravinder Sirohi yesterday evening. “10 days gone on his return from Banglore but still sitting silently. He must tell us what stops him to speak on YY/PB. We don’t want any statement from KV/Khetan/Sanjay or any one else, We want to know what AK think on both YY/PB.”
On the other hand, there were also many who supported Kejriwal.
“Arvind Kejriwal is a human being, like me, like you, losing temper is quite natural. He is not a machine or software that works on code,” said Muneer Assainar. “The sting is a personal talk, in personal talk we use many nasty languages with our dear and near one’s.
Bringing it to public is again a “kameenapan”.”
Similarly, another volunteer, Sumit Vora, said: “Volunteers being misled in the Name of Democracy, tasks and procedures. Real Intention of these three, Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan and Prof. Anand Kumar is to take the control of the Party and remove Kejriwal.”
“I am against Vyakti Puja, but snubbing Arvind Kejriwal means body without soul. He has the capabilities and honest intentions and hence he should be allowed to have a free hand over functioning of AAP.”
There were also others who tried to see the silver lining in the clouds. “Look at the brighter side. India will soon have two honest parties instead of one. People will choose between honest and honest. In long run a split will be good,” said user Mohit Shukla.