As was expected, right after Mayank Gandhi came out with his explosive revelations about the internal working of AAP’s PAC; and how the removal of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from PAC was not in accordance with the principles and constitution of AAP – he became the new target of the Arvind Kejriwal coterie. He further continues to expose the dictatorial management of Aam Aadmi Party in his blog. Mayank Gandhi writes,
Dear Volunteers, Supporters and donors,Since the NE meeting, thousands of you have been asking about the difference between AAP and other parties. I want to tell the country that there is a huge difference and in the next few weeks, we volunteers shall demonstrate the same. As a disciplined worker, I am generally non-confrontational and have never spoken a word against the movement nor party since the past four years outside the appropriate forum. But now is the time to take a stand. This is not to weaken the party nor our leadership, but to strengthen AAP and the principles that we have espoused.
It always has to be nation first, party next and individuals last. Party is only a vehicle to serve the nation and individuals, merely tools. The blogs are an exhortation to our volunteers, supporters and donors, not to disengage nor become negative, but to engage more with the party and force the leaders to truly build AAP into a party of our dreams. A model party based on principles of participation, accountability, transparency, decentralization and integrity. A party that will force other political parties to follow our example and improve governance and political activity in the nation. AAP volunteers need to demonstrate how we are the real owners of the party and bring back the founding principles in the party.
If you had read my earlier blog carefully, it was my personal challenge to the gag order on informing the volunteers about this most important NE meeting. Thousands from all over the world were waiting – some crying, some sleepless and most worried. A gag order was completely wrong. And hence I challenged the same. Having heard AK speak hundreds of times on transparency, participation, accountability and the need to stay away from arrogance, it has built a strong conscience in me. We must follow this higher consciousness, as a party. My blogs are not against any individual nor a challenge to the leadership. That is not how I function.
A volunteer identifies and considers AAP as part of their existence, but the walls built between them, the Committees and their non-transparent decisions have alienated them. Volunteers must propose that all NE meetings be video recorded and volunteers allowed to view the same. All committee members are finally just representatives of volunteers, nothing more. Remember, video recording was one of our demands during the joint draft committee meetings on Janlokpal in 2011. All minutes of the meeting signed by all members in all committees in the country should be released on the next day of the meeting to volunteers and supporters.
I am hoping that the minutes of the 4th March NE is published soon. In my blog, I have given some glimpses of the happenings in the NE, but the complete minutes should be in the public domain. My description could have some shortcomings and may contain some probable bias, but the minutes will be authentic records. The volunteers should request for the same. This will strengthen the party and volunteers will become privy to the decisions taken.
After the 4th March meeting, it was my well thought out and conscious decision to write the blogs to uphold the higher principle of transparency. A price may have to be paid. A small group of party decision makers in Delhi have already removed me from the informal BBM group. Attacks have begun against me from Ashish Khetan and others. Some dissatisfied members from Maharashtra have started giving interviews against me, some old cases are being re-opened.
A concerted attempt is being made in social media to call me anti-party and anti-AK. The party may decide not to fight BMC elections or delay the decision for the same, leadership of Maharashtra will be challenged and discredited by some individuals, media leaks will be made. More will come and I will be finally humiliated so much that I will quit. That was what was planned for YY and PB, but they overturned that plan by staying inside the party.
Let me see if I can withstand the muck that will be thrown. But, my being in the party or not is immaterial, if by then, I am able to bring in some changes in the functioning of the party and empowered the volunteers.
In 2013, Iceland became the first country to crowd source its constitution by allowing citizen to create its constitution. Similarly, volunteers need to propose to the NE about processes and systems on subjects of inner party democracy, volunteer management and communication, reconstitution of PAC and NE, code of conduct for volunteers and leaders, gender justice, conflict resolution mechanisms, policy stands on various subjects etc.In my next blog, I shall propose some concrete ideas on the principle of participation of volunteers in the working of the party and seek your ideas and suggestions.
Friends, it is time to participate in the party functioning in the best tradition of Swaraj. It should be non-confrontational, graceful, respectful to the leadership and constructive. We are all learning.
Let me reiterate, this is not any rebellion, nor against our leadership, nor to seek personal attention. I truly believe that AK is the hope for the country and I have learnt almost everything from him. I will continue to avoid going to the press.
It’s interesting how a party whose foundation is participative democracy is working overtime to contain information from the volunteers – who apparently are being limited to do the donkey’s work of campaigning and funding, without asking any questions.