Suspended AAP leader Munish Raizada on Wednesday appealed party members and volunteers to observe fast on November 29 to highlight what he alleged gradual decline in the values and principles on which the Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit was founded.
Raizada, former co-convener of AAP's Chicago-based NRI Cell, was suspended from party's primary membership early this month over 'anti-party activities'.
Raizada, the founder member of Lokpal.us (www.lokpal.us), which claims to be an internal pressure group within the AAP, has alleged that almost one-third founder members were not allowed to attend the recently held National Council (NC) meeting in New Delhi.
Explaining the reason behind the appeal, Raizada told over phone from Chicago, "Fast is being observed to lend AAP the moral strength it needs to upkeep the values for which the party was founded."
He said the NC meeting was marked by various anomalies as over 100 founder members were kept out of it using "manipulative techniques" such as late and impractical invites, besides improper suspension notices. "Also, inability of the party to show transparency for the NC meet was evident by the fact that the party did not display the names of invitees. Agenda of the meeting was not circulated even until the last moment," Raizada said before adding that those who protested outside the venue of the meeting were not even given a hearing.
In its NC meet, AAP decided to extend the tenure of the Council and served notice of suspension to two senior leaders Mayank Gandhi (former National Executive member) and Sanjay Parmar (Treasurer).
Another supporter of Lokpal.us and senior party leader said, "We are happy to note that in the NC meeting, Kejriwal mentioned that the two main reasons for forming the AAP were to remove corruption and restore Swaraj. However, how does the party explain suspensions and late invitations ? Was it done to avoid dissent."
On the fast schedule, Raizada said that it (fast) would be observed from 6 am to 6 pm local time. Those who fast can do at their homes, work places individually or in groups. By doing this, we are sending a message to AAP that we care about the values of truthfulness, he said adding that Mayank Gandhi would also observe fast to support the cause.
Terming Raizada's move as a 'positive gesture', AAP leader and former member of State Executive Committee of AAP Maharashtra Ravi Srivastava said, "Raizada is working hard to restore and retain the founding principles of he party".