New Delhi, Jan. 17: RTI activist Akhil Gogoi, once brothers in arms with Arvind Kejriwal under Anna Hazare, today criticised the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as one without ideology or leadership that will meet the fate of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader’s stance has exposed fissures in the National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM) which had decided to “actively support” AAP. The KMSS is the only member from Assam in the umbrella organisation of NGOs that includes Medha Patkar’s Narmada Bachao Andolan.
Akhil said he had given a “dissent note” to the NAPM yesterday as he feels that its step would prove to be suicidal. He said AAP has “neo-liberal policies” which would subsume the Movement.
Patkar, who is part of the NAPM’s team of national conveners, saw Gogoi’s dissent as mere disagreement. “He disagreed but I don’t see it as a dissent note. Akhil did not attend the meeting today,” she told The Telegraph.
Speaking to reporters here, Akhil said AAP does not have an ideology or leaders and even has anarchists. He, however, could not define an ideology he would support.
“It will meet the fate of the AGP that had no policy and we will protest at the Delhi secretariat with the slogan Nautanki chhoro, Jan Lokpal bill lao (stop the drama, bring Jan Lokpal bill),” said Akhil, who was part of the Anna-led core group that demanded Jan Lokpal bill.
Hitting out against populist measures riding on subsidies that had been the AGP’s tool after it won elections, Gogoi said Kejriwal’s method of extending subsidies would not work. He said without concrete policies or a dominant ideology, AAP cannot succeed.
The AGP was formed after the Assam Accord of 1985. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who was elected the youngest chief minister of the country, led an AGP government twice from 1985 to 1989 and from 1996 to 2001 till the Congress took over.
Akhil’s statement, however, contained contradictions.
The activist, who was at one time on the warpath with chief minister Tarun Gogoi, said the Congress was the only option in Assam. But he also left the option of supporting AAP open. He said the KMSS “can” extend support to AAP during elections while vowing “moral support” from outside. This would keep out a “capitalist” Congress and a “communalist” BJP, he said.
After a two-day convention to discuss its relationship with AAP and a meeting last night with AAP leaders, the NAPM said there was a need for those engaged in “alternative movement politics” to intervene in the electoral processes by contesting elections on the platform of pro-people political parties.
Patkar said the amalgam would also ensure that “some people will remain outside”.
Akhil said while Patkar also agreed that AAP was a “mainstream, centrist party” she still wanted to support a party with a “rightist” stand.