Bhushan, Yadav "evicted": How Kejriwal became AAP's Bigg Boss

Aditya Menon
Aditya MenonMar 04, 2015 | 21:12

Bhushan, Yadav "evicted": How Kejriwal became AAP's Bigg Boss

"Evicted", "voted out" are some of the terms that are being used for the removal of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from the Aam Aadmi Party's political affairs committee. The other place where we hear this term frequently is in the reality TV show Bigg Boss when participants are dramatically told to leave the house. Much like the "Bigg Boss", who is not seen but whose voice can be heard in the house ordering participants around, AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal wasn't present at today's national edxecutive meeting in which Yadav and Bhushan were "evicted". He left for Bangalore to undergo naturopathy treatment, but his loyalists in the national executive did the needful by "voting out" the two leaders, obviously with his blessings.


Even though many leaders have fallen out with Kejriwal and left AAP - Shazia Ilmi, Vinod Kumar Binny and MS Dhir to name a few - this "split" is different. Yadav and Bhushan aren't your regular turncoats like the three names mentioned here, all of whom joined the BJP after quitting AAP. Yadav and Bhushan's fault is that their idea of what AAP should be is differs from that of Kejriwal and his acolytes.

Cartoon by Sandeep Adhwaryu, courtesy Mail Today

Their sidelining shows the emergence of a personality cult within the AAP. Buoyed by the 67/70 victory in the Delhi Assembly elections, the party has come to believe that its USP lies in Kejriwal's persona and not in the party's ideology. Of course, the pro-Kejriwal brigade would maintain that Kejriwal is a personification of the AAP's ideals. But the point here is that he is no longer a first among equals. If today's meeting is any indication, the AAP will soon begin to follow a "supremo" and "high-command" culture in which the leader has the final word on every matter.

Of course, it does seem that Yadav and Bhushan aren't blameless either. If one believes the AAP's candidate from Ludhiana, HS Phoolka, Yadav did act in a rather imperious manner in the Lok Sabha elections. Bhushan too gave interviews complaining of a "personality cult" within the AAP, a recourse he should have taken only after exhausting the intra-party options.


But nothing justifies the viciousness with which Kejriwal loyalists like Ashutosh, Ashish Khetan (who, ironically, is reported to have been brought into the party by Bhushan) and Dilip Pandey attacked the two leaders. Ashutosh went to the extent of insinuating that Bhushan is anti-national. Khetan tweeted that Bhushan, and his father Shanti Bhushan wanted to turn AAP into a family enterprise. (He subsequently deleted his tweets, perhaps a show of moderation after he realised that the leaders are going to be removed from the PAC anyway).

More than their removal, it is this viciousness with which Kejriwal's loyalists have acted, that is worrying. But what will make it difficult for Kejriwal is that both of them are likely to continue being part of the party and work in whatever positions that the party gives them.

Rajneeti badlegi (Our politics will change) is what AAP has continuously claimed. Today, one will have to say, "Rajneeti ne badal diya" ("Politics has changed AAP"). It is about as democratic as the BJP or the Congress, if not the Bigg Boss house.

AAP will never be the same party again.

Last updated: March 04, 2015 | 21:12
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