Factional feud in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) plunged to a new low after supporters of the party's convener Arvind Kejriwal released an audio tape "clandestinely" recorded, to apparently fix Kejriwal's rival in the party Yogendra Yadav.
The August 2014 tape is purportedly a conversation between Kejriwal's current personal assistant Bibhav Kumar and journalist Chander Suta Dogra, who wrote a critical piece about the AAP in The Hindu.
While the Kejriwal faction calls the recorded conversation proof of Yadav's "anti-party activities," Yadav has cried foul, saying he is a victim of violation of ethics, both by his party and the journalist.
Perturbed by the "factually incorrect" piece, Bibhav Kumar reportedly called Dogra - now working with the Indian Express - to ascertain the basis for her story. She claimed to have got her inputs for her piece from Yadav. The conversation was recorded by Kumar.
AAP Delhi secretary Dilip Pandey made a reference to the tape in his letter to the disciplinary committee, saying it was proof of Yadav's "anti-party activities." The letter was discussed at the party's National Executive on 26 February, just a fortnight after the party's impressive win in the Delhi Assembly polls.
Though AAP spokesperson Deepak Bajpai declined to speak about the motive to record the conversation, he told The Indian Express: "The national executive has been made aware of the matter. We would not like to comment on something that's an internal party matter, this will all be discussed internally in the national executive (on March 4)."
Yadav, on his part has said that he has been short-changed by both, the party and the journalist.
"It's a double jeopardy: a journalist reveals her source, holds the wrong person responsible to cover her tracks, someone does clandestine recording and then makes it public for settling inner-party dispute. So happens that I am at the receiving end of ethical violation from both ends."