Differences with party boss Arvind Kejriwal, ‘irregularities’ in ticket distribution for Delhi polls among factors that led to past exits.
New Delhi: Journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh is the latest among the list of leaders who have resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over what is believed to be their differences with the top brass of the party. Here’s a list of prominent faces who called it quits prior to Ashutosh’s exit:
Yogendra Yadav: Academic-turned-politician Yadav was expelled from the AAP in March 2015 for his alleged “anti-party activity”. He had accused the party’s leadership of autocratic behaviour during distribution of tickets for the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections. Yadav was a founding member of the AAP and was also a member of its Political Affairs Committee (PAC).
Prashant Bhushan: A lawyer by profession, Bhushan too was a founding member of the AAP. He was also a part of PAC, the party’s highest decision-making body. In March 2015, he was expelled along with Yadav for his alleged anti-party activity. He had accused party chief Arvind Kejriwal of autocratic behaviour and corruption in distribution of tickets for Delhi assembly polls.
Mayank Gandhi: A founding member, Gandhi was also a member of the National Executive of the AAP. He was heading the Maharashtra unit of the party, which was arbitrarily disbanded in 2015 over differences with Kejriwal. Eventually he quit the party.
Anjali Damania: The anti-corruption activist was the face of the party in Maharashtra. She contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election against BJP’s Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur. In March 2015, she resigned from the party allegedly over differences with Kejriwal.
Subhash Ware: The leader of the Maharashtra unit resigned from the National Executive and membership of the AAP in October 2015. The Maharashtra unit was dissolved by the central leadership after some state leaders had accused the top brass of behaving in an autocratic manner.
Anand Kumar: The former JNU professor was a member of the National Executive of the AAP. He was expelled from the party in 2015 for alleged anti-party activities. He had contested 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Delhi but lost to BJP’s Manoj Tiwari. He had accused the party’s leadership of indulging in corrupt practices.
Apart from these leaders, there is another set of rebels who are giving the party a tough time:
Kumar Vishwas: Another a founding member of the AAP, he developed differences with Kejriwal sometime back. He was asked by the party not to campaign for the Punjab assembly elections. He was removed from PAC and stripped of Rajasthan in-charge post. Eventually he was brought back to PAC but the tension has not eased yet. He is reportedly unhappy for not getting nominated to the Rajya Sabha and never lets go any opportunity to take a dig at Kejriwal.
Sukhpal Singh Khaira: AAP’s Punjab unit leader was removed as the leader of opposition in Punjab allegedly because he didn’t listen to the diktat of the central leadership of the party. The AAP leadership is still trying to pacify him. Last month, nine ‘rebel’ MLAs led by Khaira openly defied the high command to go ahead with a volunteers’ convention in Bathinda.
Bhagwant Mann: The MP from Sangrur in Punjab resigned as the head of the Punjab unit after AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal apologised to SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia for his remark linking the latter to a drug trafficking case.