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Double blow for AAP: Shazia Ilmi, Capt Gopinath quit
Ananya Panda
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
Aam Aadmi Party founder member Shazia Ilmi today quit the party over “lack of inner-party democracy”.

This followed party member Captain GR Gopinath (retd), who joined AAP in January ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, walking out of the party over “increasing differences” with the party leadership.

The jolt comes at a time when AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal is in Tihar Jail for not applying for bail in the defamation case filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.

The two leaders disapproved of Kejriwal’s “jail politics”. Shazia said the former Delhi Chief Minister should go out to people and interact with the party cadre instead. Pioneer of low-cost air travel in India, Gopinath slammed Kejriwal saying a head of a party cannot indulge in “shoot and scoot politics” and questioned Kejriwal’s refusal to furnish a bail bond in his resignation mailed to party spokesman in Karnataka, Prithvi Reddy.

“My decision to quit was triggered by lack of inner democracy within the party. There is a crony clique around Arvind that runs the AAP and decisions were being taken by a handful in a very arbitrary manner,” Shazia said during a press meet. “AAP did a lot to change national political discourse, but it lacked inner party democracy. I have resented and Arvind has shot the messenger. I hope my departure makes them introspect. I still have the greatest of respect for Arvind and the numerous volunteers. I could have got better jobs, but I gave full dedication to AAP,” she said.

Shazia, who apparently had been contemplating to quit before the Lok Sabha polls, had conveyed her displeasure to the AAP top brass in the past but her concerns were “ignored”, she pointed, adding that she had been “systematically marginalised” for voicing dissent.

It is understood that even her volunteers from South Delhi’s RK Puram had complained against two core AAP leaders –Ashish Talwar and Durgesh Pathak – looking after the Delhi affairs and the matter was also raised recently.

Noting that sensationalism is not enough to steer the party towards its goal, Shazia said the AAP had lost its direction and needed to “reinvent” itself.

She clarified that she was not upset about her candidature from Ghaziabad where she lost against BJP’s former Army chief General VK Singh (retd).

Warrant against Shazia

A Delhi court on Saturday issued a bailable warrant against Shazia Ilmi for her non-appearance in a criminal defamation complaint filed against her, party chief Arvind Kejriwal and others by outgoing Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's son Amit Sibal. PTI





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