Amid the Kejriwals, Bhartis, Vishwases, where is the Aam Aadmi?

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Who is bigger in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)? The party, which claims to be a servant of the common man, itself or some of its few leaders who are all over the media at the moment? It is very very urgent for the AAP to find an answer for this.

Ever since the Khirki Extension fiasco happened in Delhi, this aspect of the AAP is getting prominent. We only hear names of Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Somnath Bharti, Kumar Vishwas and noted personalities joining the party from various walks of life. We also hear about clashes of personalities and views between Vishwas and Mallika Sarabhai or Kejriwal and Captain Gopinath. A group can have members with multiple and conflicting viewpoints, that's a valid thing but if the focus is only on elitist controversies which continue to dominate the popular media, then there is a serious problem somewhere.

It is a pity that the AAP is now getting dictated by a few power-mongers

The AAP's main strength has been its faceless being. True, Kejriwal was identified with the party the most but he is not a supremo like in most other parties in the country. He is the convenor of the party and was chosen as the chief ministerial candidate for the Delhi assembly polls because he was identified more than anybody else. For an ordinary man supporting the AAP in a distant part of the nation, Kejriwal has been the symbol, more than the broom.

The AAP had the potential in it to emerge as the most democratic party because it never had any superstar to turn into an authoritarian. It was a big advantage but now it looks like it is the biggest disadvantage of the party.

Take for example, the case of Kumar Vishwas. He is just another ordinary person who made fun of others at public events to make a name. It went on nicely till the time he became a member of the party, which came to power in Delhi last month. Vishwas's prospects as a public figure were put in a jeopardy by his past action of indulging in racist attacks. How wise was it for the AAP's think tank to float Vishwas as a probable opponent to Rahul Gandhi, a political heavyweight, prematurely? The same applies to another AAP heavyweight Somnath Bharti.

Take a look at Prashant Bhushan. Ideologically opposite to Vishwas, this man unleashed his radical tongue to speak whatever he felt, not taking cognisance of the ground reality. Soon after the AAP came to power, the party saw an invisible hierarchy taking shape somewhere. Its self-proclaimed elite, including Chief Minister Kejriwal and his law minister Somnath Bharti began to speak and act in whatever way they felt.

Those who joined the party with an ambition but were yet to penetrate the party's core body started to feel uneasy with the 'top brass' of a disorderly party structure and soon the sharp differences became visible. It is unfortunate to see the ordinary members of the party felt betrayed by the recklessness of the top leaders who got carried away after tasting power and almost killed the dream.

The AAP had said that it would scrutinise candidature rigorously so that the deserving ones got the chance to serve the country. If the selection process was a tight one, then on what basis could Kumar Vishwas's name be floated as a candidate for an all-important Lok Sabha election?

Also, being a party of the common man, on what basis is Kejriwal and his team imposing decisions like that on foreign direct investment? Who is taking the decisions and on what basis? Does the AAP leadership run for people's help only when it finds itself clueless and make selective decisions as per the ideological convenience of the few?

There is a serious drawback in the evolution of the AAP as a people's party. It has a flawed organisation and hollow leadership. No doubt, the consequences are discouraging.

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