For some time, when AAP was in the run up to Delhi and Lok Sabha elections, it was in the news regularly for many high profile entrants. Many had left their corporate positions and taken a headlong plunge into AAP hoping for a new political discourse. But recently, the trend has reversed. AAP is now shrinking, as its leaders are slowly but surely deserting it. Even those people who weren’t officially AAP members, but were seen as sympathisers of Arvind Kejriwal are moving to other parties. We list 10 such prominent people, who have turned away.
1. Shanti Bhushan
Shanti Bhushan who is often seen as the grand old man of AAP, is the latest leader to go against the party. Yesterday, he is said to have told Economic Times that Kiran Bedi has excellent credentials and that she will provide a very honest Government. He termed the move by BJP as a “master-stroke”. This statement may prove heavily detrimental to AAP as a senior leader is supporting an opposition candidate.
2. Prashant Bhushan
Prashant Bhushan has also been conspicuous by his absence from any sort of political campaigning for AAP. A regular on TV debates, he has suddenly disappeared from the studios. He has told Economic Times, that he is busy with his PILs, that AAP is “not his primary concern” and he also conceded that there was something that “worried him“. In this case, Prashant Bhushan’s silence on TV debates and road shows, speaks louder than his words.
3. Shazia Ilmi
Shazia Ilmi, the Muslim face of AAP, also left the party soon after its disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha elections. It appeared as if she was only biding time, in AAP, and the poor results were the last nail in the coffin. Recently she joined BJP, compounding the embarrassment for AAP.
4. Kiran Bedi
Kiran Bedi was never a AAP member, but she was a close associate of Arvind Kejriwal during the Jan Lokpal movement. In fact till 2012, she was a strong supporter of Kejriwal, as is seen from these tweets.
What might have led to her disillusionment with AAP, that she eventually decided to fight AAP politically, is something only she or Kejriwal can answer.
5. Yogendra Yadav
Yes Yogendra Yadav is a very active member of AAP as of today, but just 7 months ago, he resigned from all party posts, on the heels of the heavy drubbing AAP received in the Lok Sabha elections. It brought to light an ugly spat between him and Manish Sisodia which was brewing for some time. Eventually Yadav was pacified and brought back, but who knows, if AAP doesn’t do well in Delhi Assembly elections, Yadav might decide to finally abandon AAP.
6. Captain Gopinath
Captain Gopinath, a respected entrepreneur had joined AAP in January 2014. But within a few months, he seemed disillusioned by AAP. In his resignation letter to AAP, he mentioned that he is taking this step “because of increasing differences with the party leadership and its ways“. The AAP leadership on the other hand seemed unwilling to accept criticism, As Yogendra Yadav claimed, he did not even know when Gopinath had joined AAP.
7. Ashwini Upadhyay
Ashwini Upadhyay was one of the founding members of AAP. In November 2014 though, he switched over to BJP. he claimed AAP had adopted “corruption, crime, caste-ism and communalism” and was behaving like a regional party. Indeed, when a founder member leaves, it shows something is certainly wrong in an organization
8. MS Dhir
MS Dhir was a senior face among the AAP MLAs who got elected to the Delhi Assembly. In fact AAP honoured him with the post of Speaker of the Assembly, during it short 49 day old Government. But in November 2014, Dhir joined BJP saying “no one can trust Arvind Kejriwal“.