With Alka Lamba refusing to campaign for the AAP for at least a month for which negotions of the party with her have yielded no fruit, we present a list of leaders who deserted the party since its formation in November 2012
New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stunned everyone after registering a landslide victory during assembly election 2015. But continuous exodus from the party has become a worry for AAP.
Amid the Lok Sabha Elections, Bijwasan MLA Devinder Kumar Sehrawat has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Sehrawat, a retired Colonel wasn’t too happy with AAP and was very critical of party and members. He was suspended from the party in 2016 for anti-party activities. He had written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging there are leaders in the party in Punjab that are exploiting women in return for tickets.
This is the second blow to the party in Delhi in less than a week. On Friday, Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar Anil Bajpai had joined the BJP. “I worked with AAP for many years. I was hurt by lack of respect and peculiar type of functioning in the party. It has detracted from its original path,” he said.
The AAP is not only struggling in Delhi but also in Punjab as several members have expressed their anger and have kept the party. Meanwhile, AAP’s lawmaker from Roopnagar, Amarjit Singh Sandoa, joined the Congress on Saturday in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Earlier on April 25, AAP Sitting MLA Nazar Singh Manshahia from Bathinda Parliamentary Constituency joined Congress.
The BJP claimed it was in touch with 14 legislators who wanted to leave the ruling party in Delhi due to “frustration and humiliation”. Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal has earlier said that “greedy people” had left the AAP and that they were not fit to be part of the party.
Here are some of the influential members who have expressed anger against the party or have walked out of the party either by termination or by choice.
Alka Lamba: AAP MLA from Chandni Chowk is being ignored by the senior party members and she has refused to campaign for the party in the Lok Sabha election. Lamba is still a member of the party but senior AAP MLAs have alleged that Lamba was seeking ticket from Congress. Lamba has been at odds with AAP for quite some time now. She hit a rough patch with AAP over its decision to pass a resolution to revoke Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna. She had raised objections to the party’s resolution.
Harvinder Singh Phoolka: The former legislator from Punjab, who was the leader of the opposition for some time, gave his resignation to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in January 2019 who had tried to stop him, but he insisted on leaving the party. Phoolka, who has been representing victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in courts for the last three decades, said the biggest reason behind his decision to exit politics was his wish to dedicate all his time to social work.
Ashish Khetan: Journalist-turned-politician Ashish Khetan submitted his resignation from the Aam Aadmi Party on August 15, 2018, putting rest to all the speculated theories. This move has further exposed the displeasure and bad politics within the Aam Aadmi Party. Although he cited personal reasons for leaving the party there are reports that say he left the party as his request to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections from New Delhi was rejected by Kejriwal.
Ashutosh: Another journalist turned politician, Ashutosh was among one of the most credible aides of Kejriwal whose exit has raised many questions about the party’s internal politics. He resigned from the party on August 15 citing personal reasons. But there are rumours that his resignation was due to the fact that he was denied a seat in the Rajya Sabha by Kejriwal.
Kapil Mishra: The exit of Kapil Mishra was quite different and sensational too. He was sacked by the Aam Aadmi Party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) in May 2017 after he alleged CM Kejriwal and Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain of corruption. He even claimed himself as an eyewitness to the Rs 2 crore scam between both of them. He held Arvind Kejriwal responsible for the “massive” financial flaws. Mishra is now campaigning for BJP.
Mayank Gandhi: Mayank Gandhi, a social activist, was one of the important members of India Against Corruption crusade. He also served as a member of the Aam Aadmi Party and headed the party from the Maharashtra region. But soon his AAP unit in Maharashtra was disbanded following a disagreement with Kejriwal. Gandhi said the leadership is “hell-bent on destroying” the party and is diverging from the path of honest politics. He submitted his resignation in 2015 stating personal reasons for it.
Madhu Bhaduri: She was one of the founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party who parted ways with the party after being disappointed with its way of operation. She quit the party claiming ill-treatment of the women party leaders. “I have just one issue, and that is humanity. And women are humans. In this party, women are not considered humans,” Bhaduri had said in her statement.
Yogendra Yadav: He was the co-founder of the Aam Aadmi Party, which was the result of the Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement in 2011. Yadav was unceremoniously dismissed from the party in March 2015 on the grounds of ‘anti-party activities’. He is now president of Swaraj India.
Prashant Bhushan: Prashant, a senior Supreme Court lawyer by profession, joined Aam Aadmi Party with a hope that this party is free from corruption and malice, and different from other corrupt parties. But this hope of his dashed as he was ousted from the party along with Yogendra Yadav and Anand Kumar on the grounds of “anti-party activities” in 2015. He accused the leadership of hooliganism and dictatorship while saying Kejriwal is “ruthlessly stifling voices of dissent”.
Anand Kumar: Kumar was one of the co-founders of the Aam Aadmi Party who was sacked from the party along with Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. Kumar later joined ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’, a non-political movement, of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.
Ajit Jha: Ajit Jha was also removed from the party based on the grounds of his involvement in anti-party activities.
Anjali Damania: Anjali Damania left the Aam Aadmi Party after allegations against Kejriwal of “horse trading” cropped up. She joined the party to fight against corruption and when the political scenario within the party became corrupted, she decided to leave. Her resignation came after a news channel aired a video of Arvind Kejriwal bribing Congress MLA’s to join AAP to form a government in Delhi. She tweeted, “I quit… I have not come into AAP for this nonsense. I believed him. I backed Arvind for principles, not horse-trading.”
Vinod Kumar Binny: He referred Kejriwal as a “dictator” and blamed the party of “betraying” the people of Delhi by renouncing its core principles. He even declared a dharna at Jantar Mantar “if the party fails to fulfil the promises made to people”. He was terminated from the party’s membership for acting against the party lines in January 2014. He later shook hand with BJP in 2015.
Captain GR Gopinath: Captain GR Gopinath, the founder of low-cost carrier in India Air Deccan, left AAP in May 2014 due to the increasing differences between the party members and Kejriwal. He disapproved Kejriwal for “shoot and scoot politics”.
Shazia Illmi: One of the co-founders and erudite leader of the AAP, Shazia Illmi also left the party from all the positions in May 2014 as the party was no longer following its core values. She stated that the “lack of inner party democracy” has provoked her resignation. During a press conference after her resignation, she praised the efforts of the party and said that Kejriwal is “guided by an inner coterie which does not allow democracy within the party”.
Ashok Agarwal: Ashok Agarwal, a lawyer by profession and one of the National Executive members of AAP, said a final adieu to the party in March 2014. The reason for leaving the party was that it was functioning as a “private limited company” and was becoming “directionless”. In a letter to Kejriwal, he wrote that he joined the party for its “strong principles” but now the “goals for which it was created for are getting lost”.
Maulana Qazmi: He acted as the National council member of AAP before his resignation. During a press conference after his quit, he referred to Kejriwal’s party as a ‘fraudulent entity’.
MS Dhir: He was the AAP legislator and a speaker of Delhi Assembly before leaving the party. He said that Kejriwal who ruled over Delhi for 49 days did not deserve a second chance. A lot of cases of infighting emerged within the AAP leadership.
SP Udayakumar: Famous anti-nuclear movement activist, SP Udayakumar, also left AAP as the party was not attending to the concerns of the people and Tamil Nadu related issues. His exit from the party was a massive blow as the party was aiming to target the south of the Vindhyas through him.
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Last Updated May 6, 2019, 4:52 PM IST