The rebel faction of Aam Aadmi Party is broadcasting its ‘Swaraj Samvad’ (independence dialogue) on Youtube from 10:30 am today.
The program involves speeches by volunteers in the first half, followed by division of the attendees into groups and the holding of group discussions to air their opinion on the way forward for the movement.
Delivering his message to the assembled AAP volunteers, Admiral L Ramdas said he was distressed by the events, but wants all parties to try to save the unity of the party one way or the other.
He said he was ready to sign an apology if such a reunion was possible.
On the other hand, “if a parting seems inevitable, we must have the grace and magnanimity to avoid recriminations in the future. If we do not act with integrity today, I fear that we would have dashed the hopes of many generations for whom AAP represented a breath of fresh air,” Admiral Ramdas said.
Saying that he was not keen on a split, he said his beautiful party had been reduced to a “farce” as its members had failed to live up to the promises and vision on which the party was founded.
“We should not look for imaginary threats and enemies (responsible the current state of affairs), but the real reason lies within,” he said.
He said he had tried several times to find out when his term as the Lokpal of the party had ended, but such efforts have not been rewarded yet.
“Those who held public positions in the party must be held accountable.. the fault lies in our own tragic inabibility to exercise and demonstrate true leadership, compassion,” he said.
He said the recent tactics, abuse and strong-arm tactics are not compatible with the party’s vision of Swaraj.
“Corruption is not about exchange of money alone.. also includes procedural violations,” the retired Admiral said. He also said the party should not have tried to prevent its members from attending Swaraj Samvad.
“In a democracy, there should be no fear for speaking your mind and being present for this meeting,” he said.
The Swaraj Samvad is being organized by Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, the most powerful leaders in the AAP after Arvind Kejriwal, to seek volunteer feedback on the path ahead.
The two leaders had been unceremoniously kicked out by Kejriwal and his supporters, who accused the two of harboring ambitions to lead the party.
The duo have not specified whether they will be creating a new party or just an organisation. They have, however, said that they want to create a platform that is more democratic and accountable than the current Aam Aadmi Party.
“SwarajSamwad will set new standards of transparency. We will be conducting the complete meeting in presence of media. We welcome the media at Shubh Vatika, Gurgaon and be a witness to our meeting,” the organization said.
Swaraj Samvad was initially supposed to be held in a smaller venue, but was shifted later to Shubh Vatika, Sheetla Mata Road, Near Atul Kataria Chowk in Gurgaon.
“Our initial expectation was to have a meeting with volunteers from across the country which would not exceed 800. In a couple of days of announcing the meeting, we gauged that we should be prepared for 1000. But in the last few days the response of volunteers for the meeting has been so overwhelming that we are being forced to change the venue,” the organization said.
You can watch the live streaming of Swaraj Samvad being held in Gurgaon using this link: