Senior AAP leader Ashutosh quits, cites ‘very, very personal reason’

Following the announcement, Ashutosh requested the media to respect his privacy and not seek his comments.

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2018 03:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ashutosh resigns,Ashutosh resigns from AAP,AAP member Ashutosh
Ashutosh took to Twitter to announce his resignation.(HT File Photo)

Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh on Wednesday announced his resignation from the party, citing “very, very” personal reasons but chief minister Arvind Kejriwal refused to accept his resignation and said he would try his utmost to keep the former TV journalist within the fold.

AAP leaders familiar with the developments said Ashutosh (he used one name)had been thinking about his future ever since he was passed over for a Rajya Sabha seat earlier this year.

“Every journey has an end. My association with AAP which was beautiful/revolutionary has also an end. I have resigned from the PARTY/requested PAC [political action committee] to accept the same. It is purely from a very very personal reason. Thanks to party/all of them who supported me Throughout (sic). Thanks,” Ashutosh said on Twitter. When contacted, he declined to comment on the specific reasons behind his resignation.

Kejriwal and other party leaders, through series of tweets on Wednesday, urged Ashutosh to reconsider his decision. “How can we accept ur resignation? Na, is janam mein toh nahi (No, not in this life),” Kejriwal tweeted.

In another tweet, the CM expressed his “love” for the leader. “Sir, hum sab aapko bohut pyaar karte hain (we all love you a lot),” the tweet read.

Other AAP leaders and volunteers posted a picture of Ashutosh hugging Kejriwal, taken after the party came to power in Delhi 2015, reminding the leader of his “bond” with the party.

Ashutosh, who joined the party in 2014, fought the Lok Sabha election from Chandni Chowk against Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan the same year and lost.

Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said the party leaders would sit together and solve any issues that might have prompted the decision. “We will all sit with him and convince him to withdraw his resignation,” he said.

On Wednesday evening, senior leaders Sisodia, AAP’s Delhi convener Gopal Rai and senior leader Dilip Pandey reached Ashutosh’s home in Noida but found that he was not there.

A party leader said on the condition of anonymity that Ashutosh, who was the party spokesperson but did not hold any official position, had expressed his desire to give up the party’s membership around two months ago. He had been leading faces for Goa during AAP’s unsuccessful foray for the 2017 assembly polls.

Another leader said he had not visited the AAP Delhi office and kept away from important party activities. When the Rajya Sabha nomination list was finalised by the party’s political affairs committee, only Ashutosh had objected to Delhi-based businessman Sushil Gupta’s candidature, the leader said.

This decision had also upset AAP’s founder-member Kumar Vishwas, who went public with his dissent. On Wednesday, he quipped at Ashutosh’s resignation with a tweet congratulating him on his “freedom”.

Sanjay Kumar, director of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, said when a party like AAP grows all of a sudden, giving such high hopes, it starts attracting people to join them. “With time when their expectations from the party are not met, dissatisfaction crops up,” he said.

First Published: Aug 15, 2018 10:53 IST