AAP Goa unit’s ex convener, general secretary quit, allege party now compromised
Former Aam Aadmi Party State convener Elvis Gomes and former general secretary Pradeep Padgaonkar along with a bunch of volunteers resigned from the primary membership of the party alleging that it was being remotely controlled from Delhi bypassing the local leadership and had long abandoned its core principles.
Gomes, who was the AAP’s convener appointed ahead of the 2017 legislative assembly elections and helmed the party in the state for nearly five years before tendering his resignation from the post in mid-September saying he was only quitting the post and not the party, now decided to sever all links with AAP along with many members of his leadership team.
“We who had joined the party had done so with the hope, looking at the constitution, at the promise of alternative politics and the promise of the party’s avowed commitment to the three C’s -- there will be no communalism, corruption and criminalization. But as time passed we began to wonder whether the party was still committed to its core values and after much thought we decided that we would have to leave the party,” Gomes who had quit the civil service to join the party back in 2016, had said.
“After the Delhi elections this year, a team from Delhi has been camping in Goa like it is their permanent destination. That was the first attack on the Goa unit, yet we took it in our stride. We began to wonder about our role and our autonomy in the party. We had heard of the high commands of other parties in which people from Delhi come down meet people and head back. Here they came and were running a parallel unit of the Goa AAP,” he alleged.
Gomes had helmed the AAP team in its elections back in 2017, but fared poorly with the party’s candidates losing their deposits in all but one of the 39 constituencies that they contested in. Gomes who was projected as the CM face of the party also lost his deposit.
Former AAP general secretary Pradeep Padgaonkar alleged that the party was now open to admitting those with criminal antecedents and willing to compromise on the issues of corruption and communalism which made continuing in the party untenable.
“Communalism has crept in the party. They now don’t want a Catholic person to lead the party. And because they don’t want a Catholic they are searching for a Hindu, but cannot yet find one. A person with a criminal background was admitted into the party and when local leaders questioned the party leadership, they were ignored,” Padgaonkar said.
The AAP countered the allegations saying that they were baseless and intended to mislead the party.
“They have made allegations in a bid to mislead people. It doesn’t hold any water. We felt that our party was falling behind so we were strengthening the party. When we declared the CM’s face last time it was also a decision from Delhi. There is no high command culture in this party. It is the people who take decisions. Whatever decisions are taken after consulting the people,” State convener Rahul Prabhu Mhambrey said.
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