With the Aam Aadmi Party struggling to set its house right after its legislators in Delhi are fast tumbling into controversies one after the other, it is a 'told you so' moment for former partyman, legal activist Prashant Bhushan.
It turns out that Bhushan had forewarned AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal about some of the candidates in the run-up to the assembly elections in early 2015. He had sent an email to Kejriwal on November 28, 2014, complaining about the "non-transparent selection" of candidates.
Bhushan had written that the AAP appeared to be following a totally non-transparent and non-participatory system of selecting candidates. "We are not short listing any candidates or putting out the names of the proposed candidates even on the party website for any kind of feedback," he wrote.
He had warned that with the kind of people the AAP was giving tickets to, the party was compromising on its ideals and principles and would end up looking like the other parties. "I am getting a clear impression that in the desperation to win this election and the narrow view that we are adopting on the winning ability of the candidates, we are sacrificing the basic reason for bringing the party into existence," Bhushan said.
The former AAP leader, who was Kejriwal’s compatriot in the India Against Corruption movement, had dissociated himself from the process of candidate selection. Soon after the assembly elections in Delhi, which were won by the AAP by an overwhelming majority of 67 out of 70 seats, Bhushan along with Yogendra Yadav were unceremoniously removed from the AAP. They have gone on to form another party called the Swaraj Abhiyan.
Thirteen of the AAP MLAs have been arrested, and much to the embarrassment of the party, its Women and Child Development Minister Sandeep Kumar was allegedly caught on camera in a compromising situation with two different women. He has since been sacked from the government, but it is proving to be an uphill task for Kejriwal to control the damage, given that his party came to power on the twin planks of anti-corruption and probity in public life.