Aam Aadmi Party founder member and former MP Ilyas Azmi on Monday quit the party citing “lack of inner democracy” in the organisation and convener Arvind Kejriwal’s “autocratic style of functioning”, almost a week after he was dropped from party’s top decision-making bodies.
Azmi accused Kejriwal of indulging in caste and community-based politics and of ignoring Muslims and people from backward classes.
“There is no inner democracy in the party. It has been reduced to one man’s property,” Azmi said.
“Also, Muslims and people from backward classes are completely being ignored. There is hardly any Muslim representation in AAP. Kejriwal is appointing people of his own community to key posts in the government. He is openly giving preference to people of his own community in the party too,” he claimed.
He said he was also against the removal of lawyer Prashant Bhushan and psephologist-turned-politician Yogendra Yadav from the party.
Asserting that AAP was founded on principles which were against caste and community politics, Azmi said, “But now AAP itself is indulging in community politics even more than Mulayam Singh Yadav so I stopped participating in party’s activities.”
A former BSP MP, Azmi was one of the founder members of the party. In a rejig, Azmi was dropped from both the National Executive and Political Affairs Committee of the party.
He also alleged that rules were not followed during the rejig and decisions on appointments were made well in advance.
“I had left Mayawati’s BSP because she was running it like a one-person party but then here even Kejriwal is doing the same. So I have no other option but to leave it,” he said.
Azmi also attacked the BJP-led central government likening it to the Nazi regime, and said, “Today, a condition is being created in the country similar to what Hitler had created in Germany in 1934-35. Earlier, the governments were being run from 7, Race Course, they are now operated from Nagpur.”
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kejriwal, Azmi said, “dictatorship cannot be replaced by another dictatorship.”
Azmi, however, was full of praise for JD(U) leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.
“I have reached a conclusion that at this point of time Nitish Kumar is the only person in the country who believes in democracy and human values,” he said.