Double blow to AAP: Gopinath, Ilmi quit party

Double blow to AAP: Gopinath, Ilmi quit party

Discontent within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) exploded on Saturday when its founder member Shazia Ilmi and key leader G R Gopinath quit the party. While Ilmi cited lack of “inner democracy” and “direction” as reasons, Gopinath blamed Arvind Kejriwal’s “shoot and scoot politics” for the exit.

“It (resignation) is triggered by the lack of inner-party democracy, especially in a party that constantly talks of Swaraj... A crony clique runs the party and takes impulsive decisions,” Ilmi , who contested against former Army Chief General V K Singh for Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat, told a press conference.

Ilmi was drawn to politics by Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption and became a founder member of the AAP. She also criticised the party’s agitation-politics, jail-bharo, “sensationalism” and constant targeting of corporate houses. “Is naming some corporate houses and politicians continuously enough,” she asked.

While maintaining that she had “greatest respect” for Kejriwal, she accused him of “marginalising” her and preferring new comers.

She said she was not joining any party and pledged that she would accept any role which the party gives her in future.

Earlier, former diplomat Madhu Bhaduri, Delhi MLA Vinod Kumar Binny and National Council member Ashwin Upadhyay had left the party.

“One strongly believes that instead of wasting our collective energy in the bail-jail imbroglio, Arvind should have taken the bond, gone back to people, met our candidates and people there,” she said.
Ilmi denied that she was unhappy over not contesting LS polls from Raebareli. She had also contested last Delhi Assembly elections from RK Puram, but had lost by a few hundred votes.

In Karnataka, Gopinath sent a letter to state AAP convener and said the head of a party (Arvind kejriwal) cannot indulge in “shoot and scoot politics”.

Increasing rift

According to agency reports, in his communication to AAP's Karnataka Convenor Prithvi Reddy, Gopinath cited “increasing differences with the party leadership and its ways” as the reason of his resignation.

Gopinath confirmed his resignation on telephone from Toulouse in France, PTI said.

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