Complaints against Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal’s inaccessibility to party MLAs once again intensified Monday as Bawana MLA Ved Prakash switched sides to the BJP, alleging that reaching out to the AAP leadership had become difficult.
Prakash echoed vocal party dissenters, Timarpur MLA Pankaj Pushkar and Bijwasan MLA Col. Devinder Sehrawat. In the past, both MLAs had made similar allegations of Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia being too busy and distanced from other MLAs.
“Kejriwal has spread himself out in the country to pursue his national ambitions. He is not available to the MLAs. This is the same person who insisted on ‘one man one post’ but himself holds two posts. He should either step down from the CM’s job or the post of party convenor,” demanded Sehrawat.
The MLA was suspended from the party’s primary membership last year. However, he claims to have received no official intimation and continues to work as party MLA. “This party cannot run like one person’s fiefdom. I have been a founder member of this party and have worked independently for 10 years in the area around my constituency. We cannot be sidelined like this,” he added.
Pushkar said, “It is true that many MLAs are unhappy. For many of us, the idea that AAP is a different party is now lost. It is the outcome of borrowing from other parties just for winnability. The present leadership is causing great damage to the idea of politics. Over the last two years, there has been an intrusion of democratic space within the party. Any platform for debate and discussion is not allowed. The assembly sessions are just to further the party agenda – be it on Delhi Police or MCD.”
Though he has remained an AAP MLA, Pushkar does not participate in the party’s activities. He has switched sides to fledgling party Swaraj India. Ahead of the municipal polls, Pushkar was seen actively campaigning for Swaraj India and backing its candidates.
Senior AAP leaders told The Indian Express that Prakash’s departure was “inexplicable” and that “there were no indications of him planning to make the move”. AAP leaders refused to comment on the allegations. Repeated calls and texts to AAP Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey and national spokesperson Sanjay Singh went unanswered.