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Revolt in AAP, Shanti Bhushan slams Kejriwal

Thursday, 14 August 2014 - 5:10am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

In a big jolt to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has been busy reviving the party after its poor performance in Lok Sabha elections and getting ready for the assembly elections in Delhi, party's founder member and former law minister Shanti Bhushan on Wednesday slammed AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal saying he lacks organisational skills.

What happened?
"Arvind (Kejriwal) is a great leader and a great campaigner, but in my opinion he lacks organisational ability," 88-year-old Bhushan said. "He does not have the kind of competence which can spread the message of the party all over India, which can quickly create elected structures of the party which nobody will be able to blame."

What does Kejriwal have to say?
He is disappointed with the outburst of the senior Bhushan who son and senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan is member of AAP's political affairs committee.

What's Prashant Bhushan's take?
He downplayed his father's comments saying his views are personal and he should have expressed them in the party's inner forum. He pointed out that AAP is already working on strengthening the party across the country through its "Mission Vistaar" to democratically select party functionaries.

Why is Bhushan sr angry?
Former TV anchor Ashutosh revealed that Shanti Bhushan was miffed with AAP's decision to not fight the Haryana assembly elections. He said Shanti Bhushan wanted the party to fight Haryana elections with Yogendra Yadav as AAP's CM candidate but AAP's national council decided against it in order to first win back Delhi.

What is AAP's official stand?
"The criticism by Shanti Bhushan, who is himself one of the founding members of the party, on this issue is misplaced. The biggest example of internal democracy is the party's decision to contest Lok Sabha elections on a large number of seats, despite opposition from the AAP national convenor, Arvind Kejriwal."
"He had his own views, but the party's national executive and the political affairs committee decided against contesting Haryana elections. He has access to everyone in the party and his colleagues expect him to raise any issue which he considers important, with them, as a senior. It is unfortunate that he has aired his views publicly."

The banner of revolt
Bhushan's outburst is in the series of attacks from within AAP after their poor performance in elections. After May 16 Lok Sabha results, party's popular face Shazia Ilmi had resigned from party quoting lack of internal democracy and lack of space for constructive criticism. Recent emails of party's political ideologue Yogendra Yadav was leaked where he too attacked Kejriwal.

Does Bhushan sr have support?
Echoing Shanti Bhushan's views, Shazia Ilmi said: "These are exactly the reasons I quoted when I left the party… lack of internal democracy and also all voice of dissent and constructive criticism is not appreciated."

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