Ashish Khaitan, newly appointed observer for the state on his first visit to Gujarat on Saturday accepted the resignation of Aam Aadmi Party state convener Sukhdev Patel. However, putting on a brave face, Patel on Sunday said this was a three-month old matter when he had resigned.
“I resigned three months ago as the convener of Gujarat but it was not announced for some reasons,” he said.
Patel was surprised as to how this was being whipped up as a new development. On his fate in the party, he said,.”I am a soldier of the party and will remain so in future also. I had resigned three months ago but it is yet to be announced officially,” Patel said on the reports that Khaitan had accepted his resignation.
“I want it (the announcement) expedited to hasten the ‘mission vistar’ (expansion) being taken up by the new team because any further delay will harm the party in the wake of approaching civic elections in Gujarat,” Patel said. He said that as part of ‘mission vistar’, members of all committees were going to be elected anew for creating space for fresh entrants by moving old ones to ensure a mix of old and new.
It was being felt that party cadres were not happy with the slow pace of expansion and wanted things to move faster in this direction. “So, to help expedite the process of expansion right from booth level to ward level and beyond, I thought that old cadres should make way for new ones and make space for fresh entrants, therefore I put in my papers three months ago,” Patel said adding, “I will continue as Gujarat state convener until the resignation is announced by the party”.
Despite repeated phone calls, Khaitan remained unavailable for comment.