AAP lost in public perception after Somnath Bharti affair: Yogendra Yadav

AAP lost in public perception after Somnath Bharti affair: Yogendra Yadav

AAP ideologue Yogendra Yadav has admitted that his party failed to anticipate the loss in public perception after the episode involving Law Minister Somnath Bharti.

"The party came across as shielding someone who has done something wrong," he said while appearing on season two of the Right To Be Heard Townhall debate, telecast on news channel Headlines Today Friday.

In a candid admission, the Aam Aadmi Party leader said occasionally the Arvind Kejriwal government seems to be in "a hurry to do things". "I have told Arvind, let's slow down a bit. But he is too energetic. Difficult to stop him then."

To a question about what mistakes had been made by the Kejriwal government, since it came to power over a month ago, Yadav said: "I do feel we have tried too much. Anxiety, the pressure of being in public gaze has created artificial pressure on the government.

 We have had a lot to learn," according to a Headlines Today press release.

He also said the AAP could do without the public attention its getting. "Half of the things we do are not worth the publicity it gets. I feel a lot of things must happen outside the public gaze." 

Yadav hit out at some indiscreet remarks made by AAP leaders, particularly Bharti. He said the party was upset and dealt with these leaders. 

On day one itself, after Bharti went on a midnight raid against African women, AAP should have set the record straight, he said. Instead, it led to loss in perception, which is a vital factor in a democracy. 

Facing a barrage of questions on why the party had defended Bharti, Yadav said there was no evidence to show that the minister's actions were racist. He said there was nothing 'vigilante' in what Bharti had done as the minister had called police even as he was seeking action against the alleged prostitution and drug racket involving Africans.

The AAP leader also tried to defend Arvind Kejriwal's 'dharna' seeking action against Delhi police. He said Kejriwal had not defied the law in doing that. 

"You should ask the police why Section 144 was imposed when a chief minister was going to meet the home minister? The dharna was much needed. It was to protest against an absurdity written into the governance for Delhi. It was a small but symbolic victory for the people of Delhi."

Yadav also defended the Kejriwal government's decision to replace officials, saying these were bureaucrats who were loyal to a particular regime for 15 years. 

On the AAP government being questioned on its governance style, he said: "We forget that the root to constitutional power flows from the street. Dialogue from street to secretariat has to happen." 

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