More than half-a-dozen founding members and seniors leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), along with hundreds of supporters, joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday. Among them are Tapan Rishi, AAP founding member; Vimala, founder member and Badli MLA in-charge; Rajni Rishi, former South Delhi Municipal Corporation candidate; Mahendra Kaur, Women Wing, Mahila Morcha president and Sikh Cell; Naveen Gupta, Pilgrimage North West In-charge; Ranjana, founder member; Bablu Rajput, Purvanchal Morcha president and media in-charge.
Tapan Rishi said that he, along with other members, were associated with the party in 2012 on a commitment that it will bring some changes, but even after eight years, nothing has changed. In the name of the Aam Aadmi Party model, some development work is repeatedly being promoted. “The party which came with a promise of ending corruption is itself at the peak of corruption today,” Rishi said.
Another leader, Vimala, who joined BJP on Wednesday said: “I am very sad that I was forced to leave from the party which I was associated with so many expectations.”
Another leader Bablu Rajput said that AAP neither gives respect nor opportunities to those working at the grassroots level.
Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta welcomed the founding members of AAP who joined the party and said that Arvind Kejriwal used to boast about being a common man before coming to power, but today, Delhi is witnessing a change in his behaviour.
In the last one year, several leaders from AAP have joined BJP and cited “lack of faith” as a reason. Leaders like Sant Lal Chawaria, Anil Bajpai, and Guggan Singh, among others, have joined BJP stating that they were “hurt by the way they were treated.”
Naveen Kumar, Media Head, BJP Delhi, told The Sunday Guardian: “There is a one-man army in Aam Aadmi Party. Every decision, whether wrong or right, is being taken by Arvind Kejriwal. Other people in the party are not given any respect and they are insulted and disregarded. People who are leaving AAP say that there is corruption. They are even against the good policies of the Centre. There is no development. Those who are mass leaders will not stay in AAP for long. The fact that people are leaving though AAP is in power shows that this party will not exist for long. They are focusing on other states. Tanker water supply is not working for more than 20 days now. There is a ghotala (scam) of Rs 25,000 crore by the Delhi Jal Board. Why will people stay in a corrupt party? Those who want to work for the people cannot stay.”
The Sunday Guardian reached out to AAP leaders Raghav Chadha and Saurabh Bhardwaj regarding these allegations, but didn’t receive any response till this story went to press.