AAP founder-member Ilyas Azmi quits party

Differences:Ilyas Azmi left the BSP in 2013 and joined Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party before the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.— File Photos  

One of the Aam Aadmi Party’s founder-members and former two-time MP from Uttar Pradesh, Ilyas Azmi, on Monday resigned citing differences with the top brass and ‘lack of inner democracy’.

Known for his critical views about Arvind Kejriwal and party leadership, Mr. Azmi left the BSP in 2013 and joined the AAP before the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

Last week, Mr. Azmi, who was a member of AAP’s Political Affairs Committee, the highest political decision-making body, was dropped from the committee. Sources within the party said that the former MP wasn’t active at all and he has been a ‘rebel’ after he lost the Lok Sabha elections. “He never campaigned in Delhi for the AAP in the 2015 Assembly elections. Instead of attending AAP events, he was seen attending Swaraj Abhiyaan’s programmes. He has been a rebel and his resignation doesn’t come as a surprise to the party as he has switched political parties in the past,” said sources.

He alleged that rules were not followed during the recent reshuffle and decisions on appointments were made well in advance. “I had left Mayawati’s BSP because she was running it like a one-person party but then here even Kejriwal is doing the same. So I have no other option but to leave it,” he said.

The differences widened between Mr. Azmi and the party brass after the former MP from UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri constituency asked Mr. Kejriwal for a ticket from Lucknow constituency for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But the party chose actor Javed Jaffri as their candidate.

Soon after his resignation, Mr. Azmi told the media that he couldn’t “bear Arvind Kejriwal’s autocratic style of functioning.” Accusing Mr. Kejriwal of indulging in caste and community-based politics and of ignoring Muslims and people from backward classes, he said, “There is no inner democracy in the party. It has been reduced to one man’s property. Also, Muslims and people from backward classes are being completely ignored. There is hardly any Muslim representation in the AAP.”

He added that the Delhi CM is appointing people of his own community to key posts in the government and is giving preference to people of his own community in the party too. Showing his support to former AAP members — Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav — he said that many members were against the expulsion of the two founder members. Asserting that the AAP was founded on principles which were against caste and community politics, he said, “but now the AAP itself is indulging in community politics even more than Mulayam Singh Yadav so I stopped participating in party’s activities.”

Not sparing the BJP-led central government, he said that the present government is similar to the Nazi regime. “Today, a condition is being created in the country similar to what Hitler had created in Germany in 1934-35.”

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Printable version | Jun 8, 2021 1:51:42 AM |

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