AAP's Maharashtra unit stunned after sting storm, Damania's exit

Mumbai: With Anjali Damania quitting on Wednesday, the Maharashtra unit of AAP, widely believed to be the strongest after the Delhi team, seems to be baffled with the recent developments in the party in the last few days. Last week, AAP leader Mayank Gandhi had revealed the proceedings in the party’s national executive despite the gag order which led to a controversy.

 AAPs Maharashtra unit stunned after sting storm, Damanias exit

Lost bonhomie.

AAP leaders in Maharashtra said that the recent developments in the party have confused the volunteers and supporters and have dampened their spirit. "Our dedicated volunteers and supporters are perplexed with the recent happenings and seem to be losing trust on the party. If such things continue, they will lose hope in clean politics and it will hit our party badly in coming days," said a senior AAP leader, requesting anonymity.

Damania, who blew the lid off the multi-crore irrigation scam and also exposed other corruption cases in the state, quit the party accusing AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal of horse-trading. Damania's decision to leave the party comes after reports alleged that Kejriwal had tried to poach six Congress MLAs to get the numbers to be back as Delhi chief minister.

"AAP is not a political party. It was a ray of hope for this country. Thousands of volunteers slogged for it. Just no one can play with principles," tweeted Damania demanding apology from Kejriwal and AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav in the next 48 hours for their acts. Recently, Damania had demanded disciplinary action against Gandhi for disclosing the proceedings of AAP's national executive.

With Damania's exit, the Maharashtra AAP has lost an urban and known face in the state. Apart from Damania, social activist Medha Patkar, who joined AAP following request from senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav, is also not active in the party since months.

Following the landslide victory in the Delhi assembly elections, the Maharashtra unit of AAP had set its eyes on the prestigious Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). It would be now difficult for AAP to continue to be relevant with key leaders, considered as the faces of the state unit, leaving or alienating the party, say political observers.

However, another senior leader said that that Damania leaving the party will not have much impact on the party in state. "It is not for the first time that she has resigned from the party. She had already resigned from all party posts in October last year and was only a member of the party since then. Also, she was weak at the organisational work," he said.

In May last year, Damania and Preeti Sharma Menon, then party spokesperson, had resigned from their party posts due to the too much negativity in the state unit. However, both of them had withdrawn their resignation following assurance of restructuring and re-energising the party.

The leader added that those people who want to change the system would stay with us and others may leave. "Such things are bound to happen. Further, leaving such people may purify our party and will make us stronger. But, it will not have impact on the party in the state as we are conducting the meetings of mission vistaar to increase our grassroot base," he said.

Damania had contested the Lok Sabha election from Nagpur but lost to BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

During the Lok Sabha election, AAP had fielded 48 candidates but it did not win even a single seat in the state and 47 candidates lost their security deposits. Following the poor performance, the party decided not to contest the assembly polls in state and instead focussed on winning back Delhi.

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Updated Date: Mar 12, 2015 12:28:57 IST

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