NEW DELHI: Manoj Kumar was an accountant, earning Rs27,000 a month. He quit his job for a cause — Aam Aadmi Party. Now, Kumar sits outside the Delhi headquarter of AAP, on a hunger strike and angry at the party that represented so much hope for him.
Kumar’s is representative of a not-so-happy situation in AAP — anger, disaffection and disquiet among AAP members, directed at the party leadership. At the meeting of the party’s National Council early this month, several founder-members had complained to AAP ideologue Yogendra Yadav about being “sidelined”. These members did not wish to go record, but they told et their complaints were born out of frustration at the leadership.
Media’s many conversations with AAP members, including senior ones, showed the party that promised so much difference in political style and substance is getting affected by some typical problems of Indian parties: anger at ticket distribution and lack of access to the leadership. At another meeting of AAP’s National Executive, members specifically raised the issue of not being able to reach senior leaders such as Sanjay Singh, Manish Sisodia and Yogendra Yadav, whose phones feature interactive vo ..
IVRS basically reroutes a call in the manner of a call centre, and the caller is asked to either leave a message or talk to an assistant of the leader. This, founding AAP members say, is an “extremely frustrating and disheartening” feature of the leadership.
Few political VVIPs can be easily accessed via calls but, say AAP old-timers, AAP leaders are not just any other party leader. Some AAP leaders admit there’s discontent. “Communication in our party, I admit, can be much better. But you need to understand that the party is in transition mode and some of us are overwhelmed with the response we are getting from across the country. But no matter how much we do, there will always be a few people in the party who will be unhappy,” said National Executive
“There is discontent in the party. But that’s probably because there is a gap between delivery and expectation. The direct connect with the aam aadmi also seems to be missing,” said Ashok Agarwal, lawyer and another member of the National Executive.