Was wrong to turn anti-corruption movement into a political party: HS Phoolka
Senior advocate HS Phoolka, who quit the Aam Aadmi Party, said he will form a non-political organisation but won’t contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Updated: Jan 05, 2019 09:53 IST
Senior advocate HS Phoolka, who quit the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday, said it was “wrong” to convert the 2011 anti-corruption movement led by social activist Anna Hazare into a political party in 2012.
Without directly criticising the AAP, Phoolka on Friday announced he would form a non-political organisation that could “call a spade a spade” without any diplomacy but said would not contest the Lok Sabha elections. He stressed the need for more people to form such outfits that would be parallel to political parties.
Phoolka, who is leading a legal battle for the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, said he would continue his fight against the Congress and ensure its leaders Kamal Nath and Jagdish Tytler are booked in the case. Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was last month convicted and sent to jail in one of the riots cases.
“The 1984 anti-Sikh riot case is my life’s mission. In this journey, I have got support from many non-Congress political parties. I will also not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections… Converting the anti-corruption movement into a political party in 2012 was wrong,” he said. AAP, formed by Arvind Kejriwal and others, was an offshoot of the anti-corruption movement that took India by storm.
While AAP refused to offer an official comment on the issue, party functionaries said its openness towards an alliance with the Congress for this year’s Lok Sabha elections in its recent national council meeting did not go down well with many leaders in Punjab, including Phoolka.
“In his press conference on Friday too, he (Phoolka) twice mentioned about anti-Congress forces supporting and uniting in fighting the 1984 riots case. In such a scenario, an alliance of AAP with the Congress would make them uncomfortable,” a senior party leader said.
Phoolka said his non-political organisation would work on social causes. “I will begin from Punjab and address the drugs problem. There are several others who had joined AAP and have left. They and others, including lawyers, doctors, need to unite to form such organisations, which will be parallel to political parties,” he said.
The senior lawyer said he refrained from being actively involved in politics through AAP for over a year.
“A year ago, I had resigned as leader of opposition in the Punjab assembly to devote full time to the anti-Sikh riot cases. I had resigned as an MLA too, although the Speaker is yet to accept it,” he said.
Phoolka said his organisation would be actively involved in social welfare in the six months. He is not the first AAP leader to quit the party and start such an organisation.
Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan and Anand Kumar, who were among the founding members of AAP, had left the party and formed a non-political organisation named Swaraj Abhiyan.