Serious allegations by a founding member of the party and former diplomat Madhu Bhaduri that the Aam Admi Party has “no space for women” have come a jolt to the party that counts among its members women leaders such as Mallika Sarabhai, Medha Patkar and Meera Sanyal.
According to an AAP spokesperson, a senior member of the party “has been talking to her” and that they had “heard reports of her quitting through the media and not directly from her.”
In a strong statement rebuking the party, Bhaduri told a news channel that she had “distanced” herself from the party.
According to news reports, Bhaduri wanted to adopt a resolution at the last week’s national council meeting expressing regret on behalf of the party for the controversial raid led by law minister Somnath Bharti to bust an alleged sex and drug racket involving Ugandan nationals.
Asked why Bhaduri was not allowed to proceed with the resolution at the meet, the spokesperson said, “In the National Council (NC) she was given space to express her dissent. But resolutions in the NC can only be passed after going through the national executive. That is why the resolution was not allowed. But she was given an opportunity to express her dissent.”
Writing for dnaindia.com, Bhaduri said she had made a request to move a resolution at the party's National Council meeting to tender an apology to the Ugandan and Nigerian women for the humiliation they were subjected to. She was allowed to speak last and made two points -- one that the insaniyat that Kejriwal sang about after his swearing in does not allow the humiliation of women and second, that "the institution of prostitution needs to be handled with careful consideration".
Contending that displacing sex workers, even if indeed the women in the current case were such, is never a solution, she wrote "What is emerging is the fact that AAP is backing well entrenched prejudices in society because they carry the weight of votes. The Aam Aadmi Party is already the party of Aam Aadmi prejudice."
The party has faced a lot of flak from both within and outside for the manner in which the controversial raid was carried out and insistence on defending the law minister despite allegations of harassment and racism by Ugandan nationals during the raid.
Among the first to speak out against the actions of the law minister was artist and activist Mallika Sarabhai, who recently joined the party. Sarabhai had said that the law ministers comments were a reflection of the “huge problem of racism” that Indians don’t want to accept.
In response to whether Bhaduri’s statements had hurt the party’s liberal image, the spokesperson said, “There would always be differences in a party. It would have been good if she had raised the issue internally rather than publicly or in the media.”
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Updated Date: Feb 03, 2014 14:53:13 IST