After his party’s Punjab triumph and a glimmer of hope in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has already initiated a countrywide public poll about his party vis-a-vis the ruling BJP.
But party sources said his hopes could be dashed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state given the already adverse opinions being raised by the leaders and party against one another in the newly set up Gujarat unit of AAP.
Sources claimed that this emerged during discussions with a team Kejriwal deputed recently to Gujarat to discuss political strategies and gameplan for the December elections in the State. The first challenge they seem to face is a lack of organised and coordinated effort to counter the might of the BJP and also the Congress.
“Everyone does everything, there are no set of rules or boundaries and this hinders how we project ourselves,” an AAP member, who was privy to these discussions revealed. Requesting anonymity, he told Vibes of India that the next priority should be aligning the team on the common goals of the party.
This requires a coordinated and well-collated response to issues, but there was especially a grouse against a journalist-turned-politician in the party who seems more keen on his personal single-minded propaganda than aligning with the party’s common goals and strategies.
“He blows his own trumpet. While the party has its social media accounts to break news and provide information, he sends his own pictures and updates every day on his personal WhatsApp group. He often forgets that he is a politician now, and has to maintain stature as a senior leader of the team,” asserts another party member, pleading anonymity.
“Forget sending WhatsApp updates, even senior MLA Atishi Marlena doesn’t even tweet without consulting the core team of Kejriwal-ji and here’s a newbie politician who doesn’t believe in following protocols,” according to a member from the Delhi team. Immediate orders were issued to delete the group formed by this member for his personal PR.
The party leaders say another problem with this politician is that he never consults the spokespersons before giving any interviews to the media. “The party has serious problems with the leader doing as he pleases. We will have to set protocols and an organisational chain; we can’t expect the leaders to do it.”
Another problem with the party is also its inconsistent spokespersons. “We have faced this issue where a spokesperson or someone in our social media team blurts out the secrets and internal issues of the party as soon as they leave the position. In the past, we had four such candidates who went against the party and it backfired for our positioning and internal management.”