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Shazia Ilmi quits AAP, claims 'crony clique' runs the party

New Delhi: Shazia Ilmi, one of the founder members of the Aam Aadmi Party, today resigned from all party posts citing lack of "inner-party democracy".

Disapproving of "jail politics" of AAP, Ilmi also claimed that a "crony clique" around its chief Arvind Kejriwal is calling the shots in the party. "After much thought and deliberation I have decided to give up my membership of AAP and resign from all positions within the party," she told reporters at a press conference.

Shazia Ilmi

Ilmi, however, clarified that she is not joining any other party. "My decision to leave the party is triggered by the lack of inner-party democracy, especially from a party that constantly talks of Swaraj (self rule)," she said.

Attacking some AAP leaders who are considered close to Kejriwal, she said, "We fight against cronyism but we have a crony clique which runs the party and takes impulsive decisions which we learn about later. I find it amazing that we cannot follow the principles of Swaraj within our own party."

"When a brilliant person like Arvind who espoused the concept of Swaraj, of collective making is unable to follow it personally within the party, then doesn't it become incumbent to point out the same," she added.

G R Gopinath also quits party, hits out at Kejriwal

New Delhi: G R Gopinath, who pioneered low- cost air travel in India, quit the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today citing growing differences within the party leadership and criticised Arvind Kejriwal for "shoot and scoot" politics.

In a communication to AAP's Karnataka Convenor Prithvi Reddy, he said, "I would like to resign from the membership of the Aam Admi Party with immediate effect because of increasing differences with the party leadership and its ways."

Gopinath, who joined AAP in January this year, said he had "expressed most of my views also in the media including today" and wished "the party well in its future endeavours". When contacted, Gopinath confirmed the development in a phonecall from Toulouse in France where the headquarters of aircraft manufacturing major, Airbus, is located.

He had founded the first low-cost carrier Air Deccan in 2003, which was taken over by Vijay Mallya and named 'Kingfisher Red' that has now closed down. 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", Gopinath said, adding that Kejriwal then took on Nitin Gadkari.

"Kejriwal was brazen and broke that rule. He went for the jugular. What was rumoured in whispers, he stood up to in public, which made him the darling of the people and the media.... Kejriwal did not stop there. He made allegations against other high and mighty of the land," the blog said. "It's one thing to gossip about it in private but when one holds a responsible position as head of a political party, one has to take responsibility and not, as some one described it, indulge in shoot and scoot politics, denigrating people's reputation, however credible the rumours may seem and however tempting the chance to score brownie points or capture media attention and public sympathy as a crusader against corruption," Gopinath said in the blog.

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