Dear Arvind Kejriwal,I am writing this open letter to you with a heavy heart. The recent developments have been rather upsetting. As a long time supporter of AAP, I have closely followed the ups and downs with time. It has been an exhilarating ride all the way. I was upset about the many mistakes you made along with many of the AAP leaders, but I was willing to forgive as the mistakes of novices in politics. I am still willing to do that as AAP has a long way to go before it can call itself a mature political party.
AAP was established as a party of principles. Swaraj, that visionary document you wrote, inspired many like myself. I was hoping that all aspects of swaraj will be implemented by AAP starting with inner party democracy. However those have been dashed repeatedly and it is time for me, an ordinary member of AAP to call you out on that. It all started with candidate selection for Delhi assembly election of 2013. I felt that there was no transparency in how the candidates were selected and finalized. While initially there was some transparency, but the final decisions were anything but transparent. It also showed up in poor quality of the candidates. I forgave that lapse, thinking that the selection committee was overwhelmed with work.
Then came the not-so-spectacular governance issues when you were the chief minister during those fateful 49 days. Even those lapses I forgave thinking it was again political and administrative immaturity and with good intentions you will overcome these limitations.
The loksabha elections were further disappointing because again the candidate selection was very poor and there was hardly any transparency. I felt many people misused their offices within AAP and not sufficient action was taken during that time. I felt that it was too fast too soon to be expanding all over the country for such a young party. The results were obvious. AAP was routed everywhere except Punjab. The loss itself was not unexpected, but the unholy hurry in which you and the leadership rushed was.
Even though you won the 2015 Delhi elections in a spectacular fashion, the same ills continued to plague the party. Same lack of transparency, same lack of inner party democracy. On top of that you justified accepting Rs 2 crore donation made by benami companies on some technicality (they were by cheque). Now it appears that you were aware of this all along and yet accepted the donation. You may have won the elections, but somewhere along the way, the soul of AAP was lost. This is a big tragedy.
I can forgive everything you have done, but there was one recent interview which I can’t. In this interview, perhaps recorded in the last couple of days, you ranted about how there is no democracy within a family or a company. How swaraj is not applicable to AAP itself. Excuse me? This is totally unacceptable and unforgivable. Now you have crossed the line. If swaraj is not applicable to AAP, why should it be applicable anywhere else?
I am but a layman, I have no idea what has actually transpired between yourself and Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. Perhaps some of their allegations have merit, perhaps some of yours have merit too, I simply do not know. The least you can do now to assuage all of us, is to come out in the public and address every one of the issues they have raised. Better still, why not go on a public debate with these esteemed gentlemen on one of the TV channels and thrash it out. This is how you have always impressed the public and the journalists – by being completely open and able to take any question without reservation. Please do not hide behind the attack dogs or the so-called spokespersons, it doesn’t suit you or your principles. Party is more important than individuals as you have always said. Principles are even more important than the party. If the principles are lost, there is nothing left to fight for.
Please please, restore the principles. Please find the lost soul of AAP.
A concerned Indian - moderate political views.