Any one who knows the game of chess knows that though hypothetically the King is supreme, it is the Queen who is versatile and can move in any direction. She manages the strategy and the moves, no rules govern her. King takes small steps and the Bishop, the Knight and the Rook all are strictly regulated.
If we take this analogy to the ‘games’ going on in AAP, Kejriwal is of course King. Without him, there is no kingdom nor an army. He is the inspiration, he is the face, but his moves have to be measured. Yogendra ( excuse me Yogendra Yadav, I say this strictly in the context of chess!) is the Queen. He cannot be sacrificed either, because then the King is helpless and the war is lost. But it is different with the Bishop, Rook or Knight; they are not so indispensable. That is the position Prashant Bhushan is at today. He is important, he has foot soldiers protecting him, but finally, he can be sacrificed to save the game.
I use chess purposely while discussing AAP. Because this party, despite all the denials from others, is really not like BJP or Congress or any other political party in India. It is a party of thinkers, of intellectual individuals who are fed up of the system and want a change. As actress Gul Panag said in her press conference while replying to a question about politics ” politics is not and cannot be a business that makes money for you – that’s where the system starts corrupting. Till you are not an MP or an MLA ( or a Minister) you are not entitled to a salary, so you better be doing something which earns you a livelihood through honest means while being a party member. This is where AAP is different from other parties.” Gul, if you remember contested on an AAP ticket in the Lok Sabha elections.
So there may be ego clashes among their leaders, they may fall apart and not communicate well with each other too, but they will not break the party. If it comes to it, they will leave it, but not try and split it. For the simple reason they all know that Kejriwal is the heart and the soul of the party.
But they are not inconsequential either. If you ask, after Kejriwal, who? Then there is no one as important or as well known, yet at least, as Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. Both are towering personalities in their own right and have had very important roles to play in the formation of AAP, as it is today. Even Kejriwal knows that as do the rank and file of the party. Especially those existing outside Delhi, because these two, Yadav more so, have taken the party to different parts of the country.
That was also where the problem between these two and Arvind began, right? Arvind and his coterie like Sanjay Singh and Manish Sisodia are Delhi centric and want the fledgling AAP government in Delhi to do well and set an example. The rest are getting restless and want to spread their wings and fly. Delhi is a small state, despite being very important as the capital city of India. How many leaders can it contain?
Time has come when Arvind too realizes that he should allow them this flight. So even if there is talk of ‘removing’ them from the National Executive, which is a body of 25 at their meeting on Saturday, there is no way they can be removed from the National Council which is a more crucial body having representation from all over the country. Unless, they quit the party outright.
From the noises he is making, there seems to be a small possibility that Prashant Bhushan may be considering it. Remember, of the two who have been in the news for the wrong reasons, more ire is directed at Bhushan than at Yogendra. He is the one who is supposed to have been overheard saying ” it is good if the party does not fare too well in the Delhi elections” ( he denies outright having said that, btw). It is he who did not ” even wish Kejriwal on his grand success in Delhi polls” – Yadav did. And it is he, who Kejriwal is refusing to meet since his return from Banglore.
Yadav, on the other hand, campaigned hard during the Delhi polls, no one can deny that. He and Bhushan were clubbed together as ‘dissidents’ since they were united in one aspect mainly: the choice of candidates. Secondly, both want AAP to spread outside Delhi and want more autonomy for state units.
So, the way I see it, the cookie could crumble in one of these two ways:
- They both quit from the National executive and are given significant roles in expanding the party.
- Bhushan resigns, his resignation may be accepted, but Yadav stays on and gains in importance.
In two days, we shall know if my crystal ball predicted correctly!
by Sunita Mudaliar