NEW DELHI: In a blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), key leaders Shazia Ilmi and G R Gopinath on Saturday resigned over increasing differences within the top leadership.
Both leaders attacked AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal for his “jail politics” after he failed to furnish bail bond in a defamation suit filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.
Ilmi, who has been sulking over being denied a Lok Sabha ticket from Delhi, said her decision was triggered by the lack of internal democracy in the AAP, especially when it constantly spoke of swaraj. “We fight against cronyism but we have a crony clique which runs the party and takes impulsive decisions. I find it amazing that we cannot follow the principles of swaraj within our own party,” she told reporters at a press conference.
Critising Kejriwal, Ilmi said, “Instead of wasting our collective energy in the bail-jail imbroglio, Arvind should actually be spending time with cadres and volunteers. The failure of AAP will be the failure of one of the most significant experiments of democracy. My leaving will usher in a new era of openness, introspection and transparency in decision-making.”
She questioned the party’s protest tactics to garner support and said while they may have helped AAP make its point initially, to continue using this tactic would be defeating the trust reposed in the party by the public.
There have been voices of dissent rising in the party over the working of its political advisory committee and over ticket distribution for the general elections.
Targeting Kejriwal, Gopinath said Kejriwal’s refusal to furnish a bail bond pleading that he had not committed any crime as his action was political was based on “convoluted logic”. The party expressed sadness over Shazia’s resignation.
Meanwhile in Bangalore, AAP spokesperson Rohit Ranjan said Gopinath had registered only as a member of the party and no post had been given to him. Party leader Prithvi Reddy said has he received Gopinath’s message about leaving the party.
“We don’t know why he joined and why he left us. He joined us soon after our success in Delhi and quit after the defeat in Lok Sabha election.”