AAP leader Ashish Khetan leaves active politics citing plans to pursue law; sources say LS seat could have triggered move

Days after journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh had quit the Aam Aadmi Party leader citing personal reasons, now Ashish Khetan has said that he is going to keep away from active politics.

A move, which media reports say is a resignation from the party, comes at a time when the party's Punjab unit is facing a bitter feud while the leadership in Delhi is trying to mollify rebels. The former journalist had joined the party in 2014.

Ashish Khetan. Image courtesy: Gulail.com

Ashish Khetan. Image courtesy: Gulail.com

However, Khetan has called these reports mere extrapolation and has said that he is only distancing himself from active party affairs to focus more on his legal practice. Khaitan had in April this year resigned as vice-chairman of the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) citing the same reason. He was reportedly missing from important party meetings and had distanced himself from party affairs for months now.

However, sources in AAP have said that Khetan wanted to re-contest the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat in 2019 but the party did not pay heed to his demands and was pinning its hopes on a new face. Sources also said that Khetan, like Ashutosh, had formally handed over his resignation to party convener Arvind Kejriwal on 15 August, but waited to release the news to the media.

However, sources close to Khetan have said that he has quit because he wants to move out of India to read law and Kejriwal supports his decision. The party chief, however, wants that Khetan takes a sabbatical and return to the party ranks after finishing his education.

Ashutosh too had said that he was quitting the party for personal reasons, however, it is also being speculated that the hidden cause behind his move can be a rift in the party leadership over Rajya Sabha nominations put forth by Kejriwal earlier in 2018.

Kejriwal had nominated the names Sushil Gupta, Narayan Das Gupta and Sanjay Singh for the party's Rajya Sabha seats, which might have upset other senior leaders including Ashutosh. The 53-year-old former journalist, who had joined the party in 2014, has requested the media to respect his privacy and not seek his comments, in another tweet.

Before Ashutosh and Khetan, founder member Kumar Vishwas had also tried to quit the party in January 2018, saying he was being "punished for speaking the truth". The party, however, had managed to convince him to stay in the party but a rift with Kejriwal resulted in Vishwas being sidelined from the party.

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Updated Date: Aug 22, 2018 10:17:45 IST

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