Shazia Ilmi resigns from AAP, blames 'cronyism' in party

It's a tough day for the Aam Aadmi Party as key leader and founding member Shazia Ilmi resigned from party, blaming 'cronyism' in the political party.

"There is a clique of people who have surrounded Arvind Kejriwal and are controlling all the decisions. Even I can't go and meet him, so then think of party volunteers. There is no internal democracy in the party and this is sad in a party that claims to stand for Swaraj," she said.

The former journalist however, refused to name the people who make up this clique.

Ilmi said that her decision had nothing to do with her being forced to contest from Ghaziabad in the recently concluded general election and said that she even thought about resigning during the election campaign.

"Arvind has constantly shot down the messenger. I have been systematically marginalised for raising a voice of dissent. I'm no longer part of the decision making process. Arvind should not be in jail but with party cadres," Ilmi said.

"I have been raising my voice against party decisions from 5-6 months now," she said.

However she hasn't closed the door on the party completely and said that if the party gives her a more relevant role, she could consider coming back.

 Shazia Ilmi resigns from AAP, blames cronyism in party

Shazia Ilmi with party leader Arvind Kejriwal. Firstpost

She also said that the idea of using of protests had failed for party.

"There is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to these protests. Even people are fed with these constant protests," she said.

"I hope leaving the party will lead to an introspection," she said, adding that she won't be joining any other political party.

Shazia said that many people in the party feel the way that she does and are unhappy with how decisions are being taken.

Shazia's resignation wasn't the only big resignation from the party today that made headlines. Former head of low cost airline Air Deccan, Captain Gopinath, also resigned from AAP.

Gopinath was one of the high-profile names from the corporate world to join AAP during it's rise.

Explaining his resignation, Gopinath told CNN-IBN that he had differences with how the party had functioned, and that it was Arvind Kejriwal's decision to not furnish a bail bond in the defamation case filed against him by Nitin Gadkari, that sealed his decision.

"I had increasing differences with the AAP and today was the last straw by not giving bond was not proper for me to continue and at the same time criticise the party," Gopinath said.

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Updated Date: May 24, 2014 14:55:05 IST