In a jolt to the Maharashtra unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), 376 members claimed to have resigned from the party. The list includes several office-bearers as well who now say the party has “deviated from its core values”. These members would now work under the banner of Swaraj Samvad, an alternate platform started by expelled leaders Yogendra Yadav and others.
AAP national spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon, however, said the party had not received any resignation.
Addressing a press conference in Pune Monday, former Western Maharashtra convenor Maruti Bhapkar said the 376 members decided to resign as the events unfolding following the controversial removal of Yadav and Prashant Bhushan had brought to light the “real face of the party”. “There is no place for democracy in AAP. In reality, the party is worse than BJP or Congress,” he said.
Bhapkar accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of “double-speak” and said the latter was trying to scuttle any opposition within the party. “The events of the recent past showed us the real face of Kejriwal and till now we were duped by him,” he said. Bhapkar also said many like him were “taken for a ride” by Kejriwal. After the controversial national council meet held in Delhi in March, differences in the AAP had come out in the open with Yadav and Bhushan being expelled for alleged anti-party activities. Yadav and Bhushan had subsequently announced the formation of Swaraj Samvad that would act as their banner in the future. Bhapkar did not rule out Swaraj Samvad taking an active political role.