If all that we are now learning about the Aam Aadmi Party was out in public before the elections, would it have ended up with the enormous result it managed in Delhi?

Allegations that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had engaged in horse trading may have come from a possibly disgruntled former member of legislative assembly who wasn’t given a ticket this time around, but the explosive letter put out by senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan makes serious claims that can’t be easily dismissed.

Many in the Arvind Kejriwal camp have sought to boot Bhushan and Yadav out of leadership roles from the party, arguing that they have been working against AAP. A statement put out on Tuesday made those allegations formal, claiming that the two had even hoped for AAP to lose the Delhi elections. They also suggested that Yadav, in particular, had ambitions of his own within the party and wanted to unseat Kejriwal from the national convenor position.

But even if this were true – and many have indeed complained about the actions of both Yadav and Bhushan – their letter makes it clear that the party has serious concerns that need to be addressed. In particular, AAP has always touted its model as being the system of internal democracy that stands head and shoulders above the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party. Yadav and Bhushan’s letter, however, makes it clear that AAP’s internal processes leave much to be desired.

Who gets to speak on behalf of the Aam Aadmi Party?

One of the first things Yadav pointed out was that the statement by four leaders from the Arvind Kejriwal camp making allegations against him and Bhushan had been publicised by the party's official facebook page, twitter acount and website. Incidentally, Yadav and Bhushan also claim that two of these leaders, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, were part of an effort to entirely redraw the party's political affairs committee in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha elections last year.

Yadav and Bhushan remain members of the party's National Executive, although they are no longer in the political affairs committee. They have asked that their own statement, which Yadav put out on Wednesday, also be given the same amount of publicity from the party's official platforms as the one by Singh, Sisodia et al. If it doesn't, the question can be asked, are only those in the Kejriwal camp allowed to speak on behalf of AAP?

Why did AAP consider tying up with the Congress?

Yadav and Bhushan's letter claims that, soon after the Lok Sabha results, Kejriwal once again attempted to cobble together support from the Congress so that they could form the government in Delhi. This was happening,  the letter claims, despite the party's official position that it was prepared for elections, including through a petition in court seeking dissolution of the assembly.  "If we had taken the support of the Congress at the time, would the people of Delhi put their trust in us?" asks the letter, adding that there are certain issues related to this that they are not discussing in public.

On the same day as this letter, meanwhile, an audio recording has emerged in which Kejriwal allegedly sought to horse trade and break off Congress Members of Legislative Assembly to bring them into the AAP fold. The decisions to do either of these things, if the allegations are true, were not made in the political affairs committee.

Does Arvind Kejriwal have a veto over the volunteers’ opinions?

Yadav and Bhushan admit that Kejriwal's insistence on not contesting elections in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and other states last year has ended up helping AAP. But that decision was made despite the majority of those in the National Executive saying it should be the decision of the state units whether to contest, but Kejriwal insisted that even if they decided to contest, the national leadership would not support this. "How in the future will such a decision be taken?" the letter asks. "Is it wrong to raise questions about whether our state units can insist on the principle of swaraj?"

Is criticism of dirty tactics in the party valid?

The current infighting has revealed a particularly dirty strain of tactics from within AAP. Leaders have been recording their own discussions with journalists to use as weapons for internal battles. Sting operations have been used for all sorts of things and can easily be cherry picked to make points. And the letter also points out the case of a poster aimed at igniting communal conflict in Muslim areas in the capital. It turned out later that this had been done by an AAP worker, which Yadav raised his voice against, and got flak for doing so. "Should we have remained silent on this matter?" the letter asks.  

How will due processes work if a case like AVAM comes up again?

The Aam Aadmi Volunteer Action Manch emerged right before the Delhi elections to allege that AAP had been getting unscrupulous funds. There have since been suggestions that it was working directly with the BJP. The people in charge of AVAM were expelled by the Delhi unit of AAP, based on allegations that they were sending out messages asking volunteers to join the BJP.

The letter claims that Bhushan insisted on following due process and giving the accused a chance to be heard, but party officials were insistent in moving ahead right away. A later police case revealed that the SMS message in question hadn't in fact been sent by the person AAP had expelled. "There is no question that AVAM was working against the party," the letter says, "but the question remains, if any accused volunteer appeals against the way they are treated, should we not give them a chance to be heard?"

How seriously will the party take note of allegations against “tainted” candidates? (And what will happen to them now?)

The final claim covers old ground, based on the concerns that Bhushan says he raised about tainted candidates. The letter in fact features small write-ups against MLA candidates, several of whom ended up winning on AAP tickets, against whom there were allegations that Bhushan felt needed to be properly investigated first. "You tell us, would our actions that seek to preserve the dignity and the reputation of the party be considered anti-party activities?"

Here Yadav and Bhushan's concerns don't just apply to the candidate selection that AAP might apply in the future, it also is relevant to current MLAs against whom concerns were raised.

"Both of us are deeply concerned about the rising proportion of political entrepreneurs and (property dealers or otherwise rich with no known record of public service who take to politics as career) among the new candidates being propsed," Bhushan and Yadav had written at the time.