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Ilmi, Gopinath Quit AAP, Hit Out at Kejriwal

Published: 24th May 2014 04:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2014 04:02 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI/BANGALORE: In a jolt to Aam Aadmi Party, two of its key members Shazia Ilmi and G R Gopinath today quit, citing differences with party leadership and slammed Arvind Kejriwal's "jail politics".

The simmering discontent in the fledgling party since its Lok Sabh poll debacle came to the fore as Ilmi, one of the founder members, announced her resignation from all party posts, claiming that there was lack of "inner-party democracy" and a "crony clique" around Kejriwal was calling the shots.

Gopinath, pioneer of low-cost air travel in India who joined the party in January, targeted Kejriwal saying a head of a party cannot indulge in "shoot and scoot politics" and questioned his refusal to furnish a bail bond in the defamation case filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.

Addresing a press conference in Delhi, Ilmi, who lost from Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat, said, "After much thought and deliberation I have decided to give up my membership of AAP and resign from all positions within the party." 

Ilmi, however, clarified that she is not joining any other party.

"My decision to leave the party is triggered by the lack of inner-party democracy, especially from a party that constantly talks of Swaraj (self rule)," she said.

Attacking some AAP leaders who are considered close to Kejriwal, she said, "We fight against cronyism but we have a crony clique which runs the party and takes impulsive decisions which we learn about later. I find it amazing that we cannot follow the principles of Swaraj within our own party." 

"When a brilliant person like Arvind who espoused the concept of Swaraj of collective making is unable to follow it personally within the party, then doesn't it become incumbent to point out the same," she added.

In a communication to AAP's Karnataka Convenor Prithvi Reddy, Gopinath said, "I would like to resign from the membership of the Aam Admi Party with immediate effect because of increasing differences with the party leadership and its ways." 

When contacted, Gopinath confirmed the development over phone from Toulouse in France.

Gopinath said he wished "the party well in its future endeavours" saying he was great admirer of Anna Hazare and Kejriwal continues to be so.

He, however, termed as mistake Kejriwal's failure to appear in court and his refusal to furnish a bail bond after which he was sent to judical custody till June 6.

Gopinath said it could not be compared to the stand taken by Hazare, who was sent to judicial custody in August 2011 following his arrest during Janlokpal Bill agitation after he refused to sign a personal bond.



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