AAP crisis: Many Maharashtra leaders 'extremely upset', may quit

New Delhi: Indicating that AAP's internal crisis is far from over, many Maharashtra leaders are said to be "extremely upset" by the series of stings and controversies that have cast a shadow on the party's founding principles and reconsidering their continuation in the party.

Many leaders from Maharashtra feel that the "Dilli Gang" of AAP leaders "would cast more interference in our unit" after they removed dissident leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from key posts at the March 28 National Council meet.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Medha Patkar, Mayank Gandhi and Meera Sanyal(From left to right) Aam Aadmi Party’s Medha Patkar, Mayank Gandhi and Meera Sanyal release the party’s manifesto for Mumbai in April 2014.

Expressing "disgust" over the party's line of action, senior Maharashtra leader Maruti Bhapkar today threatened to quit. "Whatever happened in NC meeting was nothing short of murder of democracy. I am deeply hurt and giving a serious thought to quit the party. We will decide our future course of action tomorrow when our state committee meeting takes place," Bhapkar said before leaving Delhi today.

"Maharashtra unit has already been scared of "Dilli Gang" of so-called AAP netas. Now current mudslingings in the party would cast more interference in our unit. We are at the crossroads as of now," said another senior leader from the state, who left Delhi today after taking part in NC meeting.

He said, "Right from the beginning, Delhi leaders never gave free hands to state units and (Arvind) Kejriwal's henchmen such as Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Manish Sisodia and Ashish Khetan commanded us at every juncture despite having least experience to deal with masses and volunteers."

He, however, said he would like to wait and watch the developments but chances were very bleak to be with the party. Mayank Gandhi, who spearheaded the Anna Andolan in the state, has already revolted against "dictatorial" attitude of Kejriwal, refused to comment on the issue. But a source close to him said, "It has now become impossible for him (Mayank) to work for the party in current circumstances."

A party insider said, "Apart from Preeti Sharma Menon, former spokesperson of AAP Maharashtra, who was seen taking signatures of the NC members in the meeting, no one else seems enthusiastic to be with the party functionary." 

"Anjali Damania (who has already quit), Vijay Pandhare, Subhash Ware and a few other leaders holding posts in state and various district committees are extremely upset by the series of stings and controversies that have cast a shadow on the founding principles of the party," the party insider said.

A prominent AAP leader from Maharashtra, Medha Patkar, had quit the party hours after the NC meeting saying the fundamental principles on which the party was formed had been trampled upon amid the "tamasha" underway in Delhi. 

Another senior leader, seeking anonymity, said, "Why did Kejriwal leave Anna Hazare? Just because he wanted to reform the nation by electoral politics. But we were left astonished when he straightforwardly denied fighting Maharashtra Assembly election in October 2014."

"If we are here not to fight the election, then what was wrong to be with Anna only," quipped the leader, adding that Kejriwal had miserably failed to read the aspirations of the volunteers outside Delhi.

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