CHENNAI: A group of prominent members of the Tamil Nadu unit of Aam Admi Party quit, upset about the way the party’s leader Somnath Bharti worked. He was recently made in-charge of the party’s affairs in southern states.
The aggrieved members also alleged that Bharti had “autocratically” selected a new state convener and members for the committee, which was awaiting approval of the party’s central leadership.
However, Bharti has dismissed the resignations as “attention seeking” and instead said the resigned members should have voiced their concerns at appropriate party fora.
One of the most recurrent allegations by the resigned members against Bharti was that he was seeking publicity for himself by insisting on banner and posters with his photos, which they say was against what they believed were fundamental principles of the party.
“Arvind Kejriwal has been appealing people to donate money saying the party’s funds have dried up. But here they are putting up huge banners with photos of Bharti and Kejriwal. Anyone intending to donate money will think that their money will only be used for publicity. He has selected only people who are doing such things for his personal publicity as the new functionaries, not the ones who actually took up people’s issues and staged successful protests,” said Athher Ahmed, who was one of the former Tamil Nadu state coordination committee members.
Around 15 persons submitted their resignations and more were expected to leave the party in coming days, the disenchanted camp said.
“I have been with the party since 2010 and worked selflessly to create an alternate politics in the state. I did not hold any position and never expected one. But what I wanted was good leaders. With the kind of people he selected to lead the party, I have not option other than quitting,” says K Divya, an engineering graduate, who was one of the AAP members who went to prison for protesting at the then Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s house.
The members said they had submitted evidences of anti-party activities against a few persons who were now selected by Bharti as state committee members.