New Delhi: In a setback for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), one of its top leaders, Ashutosh, announced his resignation from the party on Wednesday, citing "very, very personal reasons". However, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said he will not accept it "in this lifetime".
Ashutosh's resignation is being interpreted differently with some AAP insiders claiming that he was unhappy over the party's decision to send a businessman to the Rajya Sabha from Delhi. Others claimed that he was angry over being denied a Rajya Sabha ticket by the party.
The convenor of the AAP's Delhi unit, Gopal Rai, said Ashutosh was not angry, adding, "Everyone has the right to take personal decisions."
Ashutosh described his association with the Kejriwal-led party as "beautiful and revolutionary", while urging the media to respect his privacy and not to chase him for bytes. "Every journey has an end. My association with AAP which was beautiful/revolutionary has also an end. I have resigned from the party/requested PAC to accept the same," the former journalist had tweeted.
Reacting to the development, Kejriwal, who is the AAP national convener, tweeted: "How can we ever accept ur resignation (sic)? Na, is janam mein toh nahin (no, not in this lifetime)."
The chief spokesperson of the AAP's Delhi unit, Saurabh Bhardwaj, told PTI that Ashutosh's resignation was not accepted and he was urged to reconsider his decision.
Ashutosh, a journalist-turned-politician had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Chandni Chowk on an AAP ticket and managed to bag over three lakh votes, more than Congress veteran Kapil Sibal. He had lost to BJP's Harsh Vardhan by over a lakh votes.
Senior AAP functionary and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said, "We all will request Ashutosh to take his resignation back." He added that his relationship with Ashutosh as a "true and dependable friend" will continue lifelong. "His separation from the party is not less than a heart rendering incident for me," Singh tweeted.
Ashutosh, who was a member of the top decision-making body of the AAP — the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) — was "indifferent and less active" towards the party matters of late, a senior party leader said.
Updated Date: Aug 15, 2018 16:45 PM