The Aam Aadmi Party expelled its MLA from Laxmi Nagar, Vinod Kumar Binny, on grounds of indiscipline late Sunday night. A thorn in the party’s side since he was denied a Cabinet berth last December, Binny has since called Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a “liar” and had planned to fast indefinitely from Monday if the AAP did not live up to its promises.
In a statement, the AAP said, “The Aam Aadmi Party formed a disciplinary committee on January 19, headed by Pankaj Gupta, to look into the matter of Vinod Kumar Binny. The other members of the committee included Ashish Talwar, Ilyas Azmi, Yogendra Yadav and Gopal Rai. This disciplinary committee has decided to expel Binny and terminate his primary membership from the party, for publicly making false statements against the party and its leadership, thereby bringing disrepute to the party. A letter to the same end has been issued to Binny.”
The expulsion leaves the AAP government in Delhi hanging by a thread. With the outside support of eight Congress MLAs, the AAP government had 36 seats, but with Binny’s expulsion, the 35 seats that the party has leaves it one short of a majority in the 70-seat Assembly.
Binny said, “I am extremely disappointed with the decision but this just goes to show that the party cannot handle voices of dissent. The issues that I raised are relevant to the people, and if this is taken as indiscipline, it in fact reflects badly on the party. While I will take a final call tomorrow, I plan to hold my indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar from Monday.”
On January 16, Binny had spoken out against the Delhi government, accusing it of moving away from the promises made in the run-up to the elections, and called Kejriwal autocratic.
Binny claimed the party had cheated the electorate by adding a rider to the promise of free water, not enacting a Jan Lokpal Bill within 15 days of forming government, not forming a “commando force for women’s protection”, and stalling on the waiver of bills run by people who had not paid their bills when they were told to do so by the party during its “bijli-pani andolan” prior to the elections.
At the time, the party had dismissed the allegations as a “BJP script” and had said that Binny was upset as he had not been given the chance to become a cabinet minister, and had been discouraged from contesting a Lok Sabha seat. During both his rebellions, Binny has insisted that he was in touch with more AAP MLAs who were similarly “disillusioned.”