Lasting less than four hours, the ‘indefinite’ hunger strike called by expelled Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Vinod Kumar Binny on Monday turned out to be the fastest fast.
Citing reasons ranging from following the advice of Anna Hazare and Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung to asking the AAP to hold a referendum on his expulsion, Binny said he was “giving the AAP government 10 more days” to fulfil its promises.
Thanking supporters who turned up at Jantar Mantar to join his hunger strike, Binny said, “In the last few days, I have spoken to Annaji and I met the L-G today. Jung told me, ‘I am not saying this as the L-G but as someone who is elder to you, you are going to sit on a hunger strike for 10-15 days. What will you gain?’”
Days after he demanded that the AAP government should “act on its promises made prior to the Assembly elections”, Binny on Monday claimed to have served an ultimatum to the party in this regard. “We give you (the AAP)10 more days,” he said.
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Binny also demanded that the party hold a referendum on his expulsion. “I have not received any letter from the party telling me about my expulsion… You claim to make decisions on the basis of consultations with people. It would have been nice if you had consulted people on my expulsion,” he said.
An aide of Anna Hazare, however, denied that Hazare told Binny to call off his fast. “News reports about Binny’s claims are false. Anna was shocked to hear it,” he said.
A BJP member before he joined the AAP, Binny said he had informed CM Arvind Kejriwal about every offer made by other political parties to him.
“On a daily basis, I informed him about the calls that I was getting after being elected. Despite that, you say that I am an agent of the BJP or the Congress.”
Despite the expulsion, Binny claimed he would stand by the AAP if it passes “Annaji’s Jan Lokpal Bill” and fulfils the promises on women’s security, water and power. “Vinod Kumar Binny had not joined the party, he was with you on issues concerning the people of Delhi,” he told the gathering at Jantar Mantar.
Earlier, Binny was joined by another BJP-turned-AAP member Tina Prasad and AAP activist Maulana Ashrafi at Jantar Mantar. Prasad and Ashrafi also slammed the AAP.
Members of India Against Corruption, AAP’s splinter group Bharatiya Aam Aadmi Parivar (BAAP) and an organisation called Akhil Bharatiya Desh Bhakta Morcha also joined his hunger strike.