AAP suspends Chicago-based NRI cell co-convener from party

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has suspended its Chicago-based co-convener of NRI cell Munish Raizada from the primary membership for indulging in 'anti-party activities by putting internal affairs in public domain.'

Raizada, who had been handling AAP's overseas affairs, was associated with the party right from its formation and before that with India Against Corruption (IAC). AAP has alleged that Raizada was recently involved in "anti-party activities" by putting its internal affairs in public domain and the action came after his reply failed to convince the leadership, party sources said.

A disciplinary notice was sent to Raizada on November 7 and he was suspended from the membership yesterday, which was convyed to him through an e-mail sent by the party's overseas affairs wing.

The email states, "You (Raizada) have not only put internal party correspondence in public domain but also shared it with undisclosed recipient(s), clearly showing that you have no intention of stopping your anti-party activities of creating structures or forums without the permission of the party and misleading volunteers."

"We thereby relieve you from any organisational responsibility given and suspend your primary membership of AAP with immediate effect," it said.

The mail has also been sent to AAP leaders Kumar Vishvas, Adarsh Shastri, Preeti Sharma Menon and others. Refuting the charges levelled against him, Raizada said, the truth is that AAP has lost its democracy within. "I was trying to keep it alive by having talks on common platform. I have been suspended from the party, but as a solider of democracy and the party, I would be striving for it," he told PTI from Chicago.

Raizada, along with Jai Nath Misra of London have launched an internal group called Lokpal, which they said was a platform of volunteers of AAP and its main objective was to have an assessment whether AAP was on the path of Swaraj and inner democracy or not. "Every volunteer is Lokpal in himself. It is an attempt to channelize the energy of the volunteers and well wishers of the party to preserve the ideals for which Aam Aadmi Party was founded," said Raizada, adding that AAP has deviated from its base.

Raizada, an MBBS from Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, and practising as neo-natalogist in the US, said he had made sacrifices for the party and never thought that its internal democracy would fade away so soon. "I sacrificed my job and took long leaves to strengthen the party across the country. I was very much impressed with the ideology with which (AAP convener) Arvind Kejriwal had raised a hope among all the Indians. Even I donated from my pocket into the party fund. But I did not anticipate that internal democracy from the party would die this way," he said.

He also termed expulsion of leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from AAP as 'unfortunate' and said that had there been internal democracy in the party, this situation would not have arisen."

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