Party convener Arvind Kejriwal was targeted in the first protest outside his Tilak Lane residence when some workers alleged "absence of Swaraj" in the party and denial of tickets to those seeking it without proper screening.
While protests were a forte of Aam Aadmi Party till now, on Sunday the party workers chose to turn against their own as they targeted senior leaders at two different locations to air their grievances.
In one of the protests the workers raised the issue of selection of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls while in the other they protested against “foot soldiers being sidelined”.
Party convener Arvind Kejriwal was targeted in the first protest outside his Tilak Lane residence when some workers alleged “absence of Swaraj” in the party and denial of tickets to those seeking it without proper screening.
There were also unconfirmed reports of AAP candidate from Kalkaji, Dharambir Singh, who had lost the Assembly polls, resigning from the party.
During the protest outside Mr. Kejriwal’s house, AAP’s National Council member Ashwini Upadhyay said: “We are not satisfied with the way tickets are being distributed in the party. AAP talks about `swaraj’ (self rule), but it doesn't implement it in the party itself.
Four to five people are running the show, so where is swaraj in the party?” Visibly angry at the “new” members being given Lok Sabha tickets, Mr. Upadhyay mocked at party’s Chandi Chowk candidate Ashutosh and East Delhi candidate Rajmohan Gandhi for “parachuting” in these constituencies.
The level of grievance among a section of party workers was apparent when party candidate from East Delhi Rajmohan Gandhi accepted the “absence” of a party forum which could take care of the grievances. His public meeting in Shahdara also faced protests by some local workers who were protesting against the importance being given to Balbir Singh, the party candidate who lost in the Assembly elections.
“Till now there is a drawback in the party that it has not been able to devise a forum which could take care and deal with the suggestions and grievances of party workers. I understand that it happened because things (Lok Sabha elections immediately after the Assembly polls) occurred very fast,” pointed out Mr. Gandhi.
Mr. Gandhi during his campaign on Sunday told the protesting workers that soon there should be a meeting of workers under supervision of senior party leaders. The workers complained to him that they have approached the party top brass with their grievances but to no effect.
Bhatti’s wife withdraws candidature
In a related development, within 10 days of her being declared the AAP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, Savita Bhatti, widow of comedian-actor Jaspal Bhatti, decided to withdraw her candidature on Sunday. According to sources close to her, she was upset that local AAP leaders were not extending full support to her.