NEW DELHI: In a blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), key leaders Shazia Ilmi and G R Gopinath on Saturday quit the party over increasing differences within the party leadership and lack of inner-party democracy. Both leaders attacked national convenor Arvind Kejriwal for “jail politics” by refusing to furnish bail bond in a defamation suit filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.
Ilmi, who has been sulking over the denial of Lok Sabha ticket from Delhi, said her decision to leave the party was triggered by the lack of inner-party democracy, especially from an organisation that constantly talks of swaraj. She had unsuccessfully contested the Delhi Assembly and Lok Sabha election.
“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,” she said at a press conference here.
She said when a brilliant person like Kejriwal, who espoused the concept of swaraj of collective making, is unable to follow it personally within the party, then it becomes incumbent to point out the same.
Criticising Kejriwal’s decision to refuse to furnish bail bond of `10,000, Ilmi said: “Instead of wasting our collective energy in the bail-jail imbroglio, Arvind should actually be spending with cadre, volunteers.”
Criticising Arvind Kejriwal’s decision to refuse to furnish bail bond of `10,000, Shazia Ilmi said: “Instead of wasting our collective energy in the bail-jail imbroglio, Arvind should actually be spending with cadre, volunteers.”
“The failure of the AAP would be the failure of one of the most significant experiments of democracy and my leaving would usher in a new era of openness, introspection and transparency in the decision making process,” she said. She also questioned AAP’s protest tactic to garner people’s support and said protests may have helped it make its point initially, but to continue to use it as a norm defeats the exercise of trust reposed in the party by the public.
There have been rising voices of dissent over the working of the AAP’s political advisory committee and ticket distribution for the General Election. The party contested in over 440 seats, but managed to win only four seats in Punjab.
Targeting Kejriwal, Gopinath, the pioneer of low-cost air travel in the country, who joined the AAP in January, said the head of a party cannot indulge in “shoot and scoot politics”. He said Kejriwal’s refusal to furnish bail bond, pleading that he had not committed any crime as his action was political, was based on “convoluted logic”.Meanwhile, the AAP expressed sadness over Ilmi’s resignation and said efforts to convince her had failed. “I tried to persuade her to stay, but sadly we couldn’t convince her,” said party leader Yogendra Yadav.