The Aam Aadmi Party is consolidating its forces and reaching out to its disgruntled MLAs ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Asim Ahmed Khan, the former environment minister who was removed from the post in 2015 by CM Arvind Kejriwal on allegations of corruption, has been seen in party events and protests over the past three months.
AAP’s Timarpur MLA, Pankaj Pushkar, who had spoken against the party in 2015 for removing Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from membership, has also been seen participating in party events.
Devinder Sehrawat, AAP MLA from Bijwasan, was suspended from the party in 2016, before the Punjab elections, when he alleged that women were being exploited in return for tickets. However, over the past three months, there has been a rapprochement.
Senior party leaders Ashutosh and Ashish Khetan recently left the party. While the former was allegedly miffed with the party as he was not nominated to Rajya Sabha, the latter said he was leaving to pursue a legal career.
Asim Ahmed Khan, who is the Matia Mahal MLA, was discharged by a Delhi court on April 28 after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a closure report in the case of alleged corruption.“The day I was discharged, I met the CM and he asked me to forget about the past,” said Khan. He is now helping AAP’s Chandni Chowk constituency in-charge, Pankaj Gupta, with the Lok Sabha campaign.
AAP spokesperson, Saurabh Bharadwaj, confirmed the move.
“Over the past few months, things have started warming up between the few disgruntled MLAs and the party and this was evident in Assembly sessions where both Pushkar and Sehrawat have been supporting the party stand…,” he said.
“The party reached out to me during the sit-in protest at the L-G House and I realised that any problems I had about its functioning should have been raised within the party,” he said.
Pushkar, meanwhile, said that while he had taken a “moralistic and idealistic stand” on reflecting he realised that he should help strengthen the party from within.
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