New Delhi : The political success of the Aam Aadmi Party continues to divide the Congress. Initially, the party was divided on the issue of extending support to AAP’s minority government in the Delhi state, and now the divide is showing on the question looking at the new phenomena.
The process was actually kick started by the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi when he made a modest beginning by asserting that the oldest party in the country could learn a few things from the AAP. Though he limited his appreciation of the new party to just that, other leaders, notably union minister Jairam Ramesh who also doubles up as the party’s war room strategist, has been more than effusive in his praise of AAP. He chided union I & B minister Manish Tiwari for making fun of the AAP, and even described at as a ‘Dashavatar.”
Now this has not gone down well with a section of senior leaders. Party veteran Janardan Dwivedi in a strong reaction came down heavily on Ramesh. ”It may be the opinion of some persons. They may be over enthusiastic. But if you see minutely, only those persons have illusions, who themselves were not political workers, who did not suffer that pain. They do not know what pain one undergoes in forming a political party and working as a political activist can say such things,” he said.
Dwivedi elaborated: “How much struggle one has to undergo before one gets an identity. Those whose identities are established all of a sudden can say anything because they have not felt that pain, not undergone that rigour.” Though he clarified that he was not pointing to any individual, there was no mistaking that the union minister was the target of this critique.
The party general secretary however preferred to adopt a wait and watch kind of approach while making an assessment of the AAP as such.” It is not wise to give a conclusion on anything concerning AAP. Right now they are a group of few people. They have raised an issue and the party was formed and it got support and they formed government in a state. The issue was corruption. This is an issue, which is like accepting that everyone should follow the right path, should not tell a lie, should not steal. Who can disagree with that?…People felt that that while everybody says this, nobody does it. They have raised a question on it and in response, they have got the support. It is another thing to get support by raising an issue, by raking up sentiment…but some system is needed even to run an arrangement,” he observed.
Dwivedi also made it clear that to move forward the AAP needs an ideological basis and an organizational network. He also observed that the high profile new entrants that are being attracted to AAP appear to be more interested in the prospects of that party getting political power.
The party general secretary’s statements reflect the unease in the party over the attitude towards AAP, and a feeling that in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, the party appears to be yielding some space to it.