India

Indian media: 'Betrayal and backstabbing' in AAP

Mr Kejriwal is the most popular face of the Aam Aadmi Party Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Kejriwal is the most popular face of the Aam Aadmi Party

There is a sense of disappointment in the Indian media as stories of "betrayal and backstabbing" in the anti-corruption party AAP continue to dominate headlines.

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP or Common Man's Party) has seen many twists and turns in it's short history

The party was born out of an anti-corruption movement that swept India in 2011, and made a spectacular debut in Delhi assembly elections in 2013.

Mr Kejriwal became the chief minister of Delhi and the media at the time had termed this "common man's rise" to power as the "new dawn in Indian politics".

But he quit from the post after serving 49 days in office, disappointing many of his followers and media commentators. The party went on to lose badly in the 2014 general elections.

He was written off and the party disappeared from the front pages of Indian newspapers.

But Mr Kejriwal continued working in Delhi and surprised many political pundits by winning 67 out of 70 seats in the fresh polls for the Delhi assembly in February this year.

'Betrayal and leaks'

He returned to front pages and social media once again hailed him as a crusader against corruption.

But a month later, the story is very different.

Papers and TV channels have been reporting the infighting in the AAP, often with details leaked by different factions in the party.

On Saturday, the AAP sacked its founding members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the National Executive - the party's top decision-making body.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Kejriwal has promised to give corruption-free governance in Delhi

"Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan tried to defeat AAP in Delhi polls. Prashant Bhushan betrayed my trust, cannot work with him," the NDTV website quotes Mr Kejriwal as saying.

The Delhi chief minister gave an emotional speech to his followers before the duo were sacked from their key positions in the party.

Mr Bhushan and Mr Yadav rejected their colleague's allegations, saying the AAP has forgotten its basic idea of upholding democracy within the party.

"He has displayed today that is that he is willing to use his dictatorial powers to ruthlessly stifle dissent and ruthlessly stop any discussion or opposition to what he wants," Mr Bhushan said.

'Delhi is losing'

Papers say the people of Delhi voted the AAP into power with high hopes of clean governance and fast development.

For many, Delhi is losing its battle against pollution, traffic congestion and corruption because top leaders of the ruling party are busy dealing with "personal issues".

The Asian Age says the AAP "has presented an unprepossessing sight in the past month".

"The AAP today is a house divided against itself in a manner that just did not seem thinkable in the first flush of its formation," it says.

The paper finds faults in Mr Kejriwal and his inability to keep the party together.

"Mr Kejriwal was the charismatic figure around whom everyone coalesced for a time and swept to a famous victory. But his severe limitations have been exposed. The language he has used for senior colleagues, and the tactics he has shown himself capable of in his drive to power and then staying put, mark him out as no different from the clever politicians of the older parties who are widely disdained," it adds.

For The Times of India, the "fracas has exposed the lack of internal cohesion within a party that lacks a well defined ideological glue to hold it together".

"Mr Yadav and Mr Bhushan should have recognised that Mr Kejriwal was the leader with the mass connect and backed off from a public confrontation, rather than put on an appearance of misplaced martyrdom. With neither side willing to compromise, a credibility loss and break-up became inevitable," it says.


'Superior Saina'

Image copyright EPA
Image caption India's Saina Nehwal is currently the top woman player in the world

And finally, papers praise Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal for "breaking a jinx" to win the India Open badminton championship in Delhi on Sunday, The Hindu reports.

Saina, who is currently the top woman player in the world, defeated Thai shuttler and former champion Ratchanok Intanon.

"Saina's previous-best performance in five previous appearances since 2011 was the quarterfinal finish last year," the paper reports.

Meanwhile, Indian shuttler K Srikanth defeated Denmark's Viktor Axelsen to win the men's singles at the tournament.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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