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AAP leaders Shazia Ilmi, GR Gopinath quit, even as party chief Arvind Kejriwal remains under judicial custody

Saturday, 24 May 2014 - 4:59pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

This week doesn't seem to get better for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), as two prominent leaders put in their resignation, today.

Even as the party leader Arvind Kejriwal continues to remain in jail, founding member Shazia Ilmi announced she was quitting the newly formed party. The news was soon followed by the resignation of Captain GR Gopinath.

"After much thought and deliberation I have decided to give up my membership of AAP and resign from all positions within the party," Ilmi said at a press conference today. The journalist turned politician also added that she had no plans to join another political party.

Elaborating on her decision, she blamed the lack of internal party organisation. She said, "AAP did a lot to change national political discourse, but it lacked inner party democracy. I feel the party is not moving in a good direction, I see no hope. I hope my departure makes them introspect."

"It is not enough to just name corporates and politicians," she emphasised. "Dharnas and demonstrations were helpful earlier on, but now they are not," she added.

However, Ilmi maintained that she continues to hold Kejriwal in high regards. "I still have the greatest of respect for Arvind and the numerous volunteers. Arvind is a brilliant person who espoused the concept of Swaraj, but he's unable to follow it within the party," she said

On the other hand, GR Gopinath, pioneer of low-cost air travel in India, quit AAP citing growing differences with the leadership and its ways. He strongly criticised Arvind Kejriwal's recent actions. Gopinath, who joined AAP in January this year, stressed that he was a great admirer of Anna Hazare and Kejriwal and continues to be so but disagreed with some of the decisions of of the AAP chief saying a head of a party cannot indulge in "shoot and scoot politics".

He disagreed with Kejriwal on his refusal to furnish a bail bond in the defamation case filed against him by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari.

In a blog titled 'Has Kejriwal lost his way' today, he criticised the functioning of AAP chief. He said when Kejriwal took on Robert Vadra on corruption charges, "The BJP loved it and also went in for the kill against the Congress", adding that Kejriwal then took on Nitin Gadkari

However, Ilmi left her option open and said, "If I'm given a relevant role, I am willing to return to the party."

Expelled AAP leader Vinod Kumar Binny said it is justifiable for party leader Shazia Ilmi to be unhappy with the party as it is forcing its decision on her, and described the top leadership of the party as 'dictatorial' and 'anarchic'.

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