Dissent brews in Bihar AAP over tie-up with Nitish Kumar

  • Anirban Guha Roy, Hindustan Times, Patna
  • Updated: Aug 24, 2015 18:34 IST
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal. (Delhi government handout photo)

The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) prominent face and former Janata Dal (United) minister, Parween Amanullah, is unhappy with the party chief’s growing bonhomie with chief minister Nitish Kumar ahead of the assembly polls in the state.

Amanullah, a leading RTI campaigner, had joined the JD(U) before the 2010 assembly elections and quit three years later because of alleged corruption and stifling environment in the party.

Now, as the head of AAP’s Bihar unit, she is uncomfortable with the friendship between party chief Arvind Kejriwal and Kumar. The dissent might trigger another split in the AAP, which had witnessed a three-way division already.

“I am shocked and have no words to express that such an arrangement has been worked out between AAP and JD(U). We will lose our identity in the state,” she said over the phone from Bangalore.

Delhi chief minister Kejriwal has agreed to campaign for the anti-BJP alliance headed by Kumar. He is expected to attend a function with Kumar in Patna on August 27.

AAP central leaders have said party volunteers would be asked to campaign for the JD(U), but it has not gone down well with the cadre.

“We were not consulted at all by our central leadership on joining hands with the JD(U). I had resigned as a minister because of corruption and system failure in the government to join the AAP. Now, how can we campaign for the JD(U)? This is equal to selling our principles,” Amanullah said.

"Party volunteers are disillusioned by the tie-up. There is no clarity if the AAP will contest in the Bihar polls. If that does not happen, AAP’s future in the state is bleak,” she warned.

The AAP’s Bihar unit lost much steam after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls where it unsuccessfully contested 39 of the 40 parliamentary seats. Since then, internal fighting and factionalism has besieged the party.

AAP central leaders have, however, clarified they would not share the stage with the RJD or Congress, the other two constituents of the grand alliance.

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