There seems to be no end to trouble for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Days after prominent leader like Shazia Ilmi quit the party over “lack of inner democracy”, some members who either quit or were expelled are joining hands to ensure a roadblock for Arvind Kejriwal’s party.
These rebel leaders have planned zonal “open sessions” to discuss the road ahead. The front is slated to be launched in Bangalore on June 13, and it is likely to be attended by Shazia Ilmi, who unsuccessfully fought the Lok Sabha poll from Ghaziabad, and former National Council member Ashwini Upadhyay.
The session is also likely to be attended by AAP founder members Madhu Bhaduri, who quit the party alleging that it “does not treat women as humans”, and Ashok Agarwal, who had called the party “directionless”.
In an interview to indianexpress.com, Upadhyay said that they will hold a three-day session, from June 13 to June 15 in Bangalore, to start with. The participants would be allowed to voice their opinion against the AAP and the session will discuss the feasibility of a possible parallel movement.
He also said that Anna Hazare was also consulted over the issue, who suggested the group to launch a new non-political movement, which would focus on various reforms.
Alleging that the party was hijacked by the big four – Arvind Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh – Upadhyay claimed that there was no democracy in the party as all the decisions were taken on the whims and fancies of just a few leaders.
Hitting out at the AAP leadership, Upadhyay said that AAP has become SAP (Sanjay Aadmi Party) in Uttar Pradesh, YAP (Yogendra Aadmi Party) in Haryana, MAP (Manish Aadmi Party) in Madhya Pradesh, PAP (Parveeen Amanullah Party) in Bihar and MAP (Mayank Aadmi Party) in Maharashtra.
Upadhyay said the members of the “open session” will make attempts to take a call on whether they should launch a fresh “non-political movement under the guidance of prominent social activists” or “form a new political party”.
Meanwhile, voices of dissent have also surfaced from the party’s Bangalore unit. Soumya Nayak, who has been a key member in organising the ‘open session’, expressed his displeasure over lack of democracy in the party. He said, “We will ensure that those who have committed mistakes are held accountable, even if it’s Arvind Kejriwal.” Nayak added that despite being upset with the party, he won’t quit it as he had not committed any mistake. Instead, those who have committed mistake need to go, he said.
The members of the front have also launched an online campaign, involving as many as 11,000 people who had sought tickets from AAP for the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. These people have been sent a questionnaire, seeking their opinion on the road ahead. They have also been asked to join the “open session”, which will be held at Art of Living Centre in Bangalore from June 13-15.
The group also plans to submit a memorandum to the PMO over various issues such as education reforms, health reforms, reservation, police reforms, electoral reforms and judicial reforms. They have even suggested names to head the panels for these reforms, which includes prominent names like former DGP Prakash Singh, ex-NCERT director Jagmohan Rajput, former chief election commissioner T N Sheshan, and former IPS officer Shashi Kant. These panels would be formed only if the group decides to go ahead with a non-political movement.