Taking cognizance of an HT report about the unauthorized use of Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) letterhead by a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and party member Ranbir Sharma, the party’s state convener Dr Ashawant Gupta has taken a strong objection to the act on Saturday.
The state leadership has said that Sharma sensitized about the work discipline of the party to send a message to other party members that nobody is above the party.
On Saturday, Hindustan Times had carried an exclusive report which stated that Sharma, who had joined the party on January 11 at Chandigarh, had indulged in misusing the letterhead for organising a bhaichara or brotherhood function “for the promotion of the party”.An invitation, sent to the media organisation on Friday, bore the name of the party and its symbol, the broom, and claimed that the meet was convened by AAP. The letterhead, however, bore no address and was issued by one Neeraj Pahwa, who, the letter said was an “activist”.
On Friday, the district secretary of AAP Sandeep Saini had showed his ignorance over the issue and claimed that the party was not involved in the matter.
On Saturday, Dr Ashawant Gupta said that it was unethical on the part of Sharma to use the party’s letterhead and symbol without being authorised.
“The invitation letter issued to the media house was not from party. Since the letter does not contain any office address, we cannot say how it was prepared,” he said.
He also said that while he found no mischievous intent on Sharma’s part, the act was nonetheless unwelcome.
“Sharma has voluntarily joined the party and is not occupying any official position (in the party).
Hence, he is not entitled to use the party’s name without prior permission,” said Gupta. He further stated that the former IPS officer would be warned against repeating such acts in the future and would be told to inform the party’s local leadership before organising such functions.
He, however, clarified that anyone was welcome to promote the party’s ideology by following its guidelines. Sharma is the son-in-law of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and ex-union minister I D Swami, who was elected from Karnal.
Meanwhile, Sharma and other leaders of the party’s local unit held a meeting at a community center at Sector 13, which was attended by very few of the party’s volunteers.