AAP rift widens; Anjali Damania quits

The chorus of dissenting voices within the Aam Aadmi Party reached a crescendo on Wednesday with sidelined senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan coming out openly against Arvind Kejriwal.

The duo wrote an open letter to party volunteers accusing Mr.Kejriwal of trying to align with the Congress for government formation.

Shortly before that, senior AAP leader from Mumbai Anjali Damania resigned from the party after allegations of “horse trading” surfaced against Mr. Kejriwal.

“I quit.. I have not come into Aap for this nonsense. I believed him.. I backed Arvind for principles not Horse-trading,” Ms. Damania tweeted.

Ms. Damania’s decision, which she announced on Twitter, followed allegations of horse-trading against Mr. Kejriwal. Earlier in the day, former AAP MLA Rajesh Garg released an audio of his conversation with Mr. Kejriwal with the AAP convener allegedly discussing horse-trading in 2014.

The audio tapes dating back to the days before the dissolution of the Delhi Assembly in 2014 and allegedly has Mr. Kejriwal asking Mr. Garg to convince six Congress MLAs to quit the party and form a new party so that they can lend support to AAP for a full majority.

Referring to this revelation as “nonsense,” Ms. Damania said she had backed Mr. Kejriwal for his “principles” and not “horse-trading.” In a series of tweets she demanded an inquiry in 48 hours against all the allegations and said senior leaders Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan and Mr. Kejriwal should “beg” for an apology from the party workers.

In the letter, Mr. Yadav and Mr. Bhushan have alleged that Mr. Kejriwal wanted to form a government in Delhi with Congress support, after the party's drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.

The duo also denied any move by them to evict Mr. Kejriwal as the national convenor of the party.

“This is an open letter to all AAP will be available everywhere on social media...we hope it will also be publicised by the party as other letters have been,” Mr. Yadav said after releasing the letter.

“We want the party's internal Lokpal to probe all issues,” he added.

Later, Mr. Yadav posted some screenshots of email communications involving him, Mr. Bhushan, Mr. Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai among others.

The emails, written last December, expressed the duo's difference of opinion on some candidates for the Delhi elections.

Mr. Yadav also made his point through a series of tweets from his official handle.

“I welcome the statement by 4 colleagues. Begins the possibility of open, transparent dialogue. Truth shall prevail,” he said referring to a statement made by senior party leaders Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai, Pankaj Gupta and Sanjay Singh.

In the statement, the four leaders had accused Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan of working towards the defeat of AAP in the recently concluded Delhi elections.

“Hope this statement ends all slander, planting of allegations. Hope no more coercion of party functionaries and Delhi MLAs on this issue.”

“Hope PB and my response will also be duly publicised by the party media. Hope party's website will be opened for all volunteers responses,” he tweeted.

Top AAP leaders who quit

Anjali Damania: Senior leader from Mumbai. Quits after accusing Kejriwal of “horse trading.”

Vinod Kumar Binny: Won in the Delhi Assembly elections in 2013 from Laxmi Nagar as AAP candidate but quit after being denied a ministerial berth. He was a candidate for the BJP in the Delhi Assembly polls 2015

Shazia Ilmi: Resigned in May 2014 after losing in the Lok Sabha elections and blamed the party for lack of inner-party democracy. She joined the BJP in January 2015, a few weeks before the Delhi Assembly election.

Captain G.R. Gopinath: The founder of Air Deccan resigned along with Ms. Ilmi citing growing differences with the leadership and criticising Arvind Kejriwal.

Madhu Bhaduri: One of the founding members of AAP, the former Indian ambassador to Portugal quit the party in February 2014 alleging mistreatment of the women leaders.

S.P. Udayakumar​: The anti-nuclear activist quit the party in October 2014 alleging the party leadership did not pay attention to the problems of the people in his region of south Tamil Nadu.

Ashok Agarwal: The educationist and child rights lawyer resigned in March 2014 alleging that the party worked like a “private limited company” and accusing it of elitism in the ticket distribution process for the Lok Sabha election.

Maulana Maqsood Ali Kazmi: An AAP’s National Council member at the time, he quit in April 2014 saying that the party was being hijacked by “four or five people who are calling the shots”.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 6:39:57 am |