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Shazia Ilmi and Captain Gopinath quit from AAP

New Delhi, 24 May-2014(PTI/IANS): The Aam Aadmi Party showed signs of disintegration on Saturday with the resignation of two of its most prominent leaders— journalist-turned politician Shazia Ilmi and GR Gopinath who launched India’s first low-cost carrier.

Shazia Ilmi and Captain Gopinath quit from AAP

Shazia Ilmi and Captain Gopinath quit from AAP
A file photo of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Shazia Ilmi. (HT file photo)
Ilmi said the “lack of inner democracy” within AAP triggered her resignation. “There is a crony clique that runs the AAP,” Ilmi told a press conference where she announced her decision to quit.

She said while AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal talked of ‘swaraj (freedom), the party itself was undemocratic, and decisions were being taken in a very arbitrary manner.

“It is not enough to just name corporates and politicians,” she said, referring to a number of anti-graft “exposes” by Kejriwal, which brought the party into limelight.

Ilmi said she will not join any other political party and her good wishes will always be with AAP.

“I could have got better jobs, but I gave full dedication to AAP,” she added, while complaining that she has been “systematically marginalised for raising the voice of dissent”.

She said a whisper campaign had been started that she had been upset with being fielded from Ghaziabad.

Meanwhile, Captain Gopinath, the Bangalore-based founder of the now defunct Air Deccan too quit the party, citing “increasing difference with the party leadership and its ways”. Captain Gopinath, who is presently in France, emailed his resignation to party spokesman Prithvi Reddy this morning.

Dissent within the AAP came to the fore on Friday as the party’s foot-soldiers questioned the leadership over the debacle in the Lok Sabha elections and demanded dissolution of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), even as party leaders tried to pacify them.

At a meeting organised to discuss future course of action for the party after its convener Kejriwal’s judicial custody was extended, many volunteers sought answers about the functioning within the party.

Some volunteers were seen holding placards with messages, “Who will own the responsibility of defeat (in the Lok Sabha elections)?” and “PAC should be dissolved” at the meeting.

In a bid to pacify them, party leaders asked the cadre to write their queries and grievances on a paper, which many did even as a few grumbled.

“This system does not work as party hardly gets back on these questions,” an AAP volunteer said.

Party leaders, however, admitted there was a lack of communication with the party volunteers, but tried to rejuvenate them with encouraging talks.

“There has been a lack of communication in the party because of the limited resources,” party Delhi unit secretary and AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey told volunteers.

“We admit that we have faults and we have to build the organisation. We have to improve the system,” party leader and Political Affairs Committee (PAC) member Gopal Rai said.

“Congress is more than 125 years old and we are just one and half years old. Still we have done well,” he said.

Senior party leader Manish Sisodia lauded the cadres for their work despite the dismal performance saying its vote share had increased in the Lok Sabha polls compared to Delhi elections.

“Who says we have not done well? Ours is a one and half year old party and we have managed to increase our vote share from 29 per cent to 33 per cent. Our candidate in Udaipur has managed to get more than 1.5 lakh votes where senior party leaders did not campaign,” Sisodia said. [SOURCE: HT ]

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