Why I Quit the Aam Aadmi Party, By Captain Gopinath

Published: May 24, 2014 17:23 IST
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(Captain GR Gopinath founded Air Deccan and is considered a pioneer in the low-cost airline sector. He quit Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party on May 24, five months after joining it)

With a heavy heart and with great reluctance I resigned today from AAP, a party that changed the nature of Indian politics within a year of taking birth. They almost disproved the adage - Rome was not built in a day. Kejriwal and his broom-wielding volunteers and white toupees became the darling of the masses and the media.

They burst on the Indian political landscape like the onset of spring and like a breath of fresh air swept the stench of Indian politics. They took Delhi by storm in the state elections and catapulted to power. The people rewarded them handsomely; there was a euphoria unseen in Indian politics.

And alas, they shone and rose like a meteor and faded out as quickly.

I admired Arvind Kejriwal and still do, for his courage, dedication, persistence and sacrifice against overwhelming odds. I also held people like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav in high esteem.

I am now disappointed and disillusioned with their tactics, continuing tantrums and agitational ways. I wrote about it repeatedly when I felt they erred. I also praised them when they fought for the right cause.    

The Nitin Gadkari episode is the last straw. It does not behove the leader of a national party, (now AAP is truly a national party after the Congress's rout in the last elections) to disregard the law of the land and take to agitation at the drop of a hat. I'm not defending Gadkari. Kejriwal accused him of corruption and now if the court summons him he should defend himself in court and prove his charges. Or else there will be mayhem and chaos in society.

Besides, it may not be politically prudent to defy the court. He should not confuse the court with the BJP. The government is not arresting him for leading an agitation against corruption. This is an individual court case between Gadkari and Kejriwal. He must fight it legally. There may be other such cases that he may have to encounter in the future as he has accused others of similar charges.

This is the time to recoup, reorganise and re-build the party brick by brick, after reflecting what went wrong so horribly for the AAP in such a short span. This is not the time to fritter away in protests and street fights. If you credited the people and the media for propelling you to power, now you can't insult them by saying the media is paid by crony capitalists to discredit you or attribute your falling from grace to people getting carried away by a Modi wave. That reflects on you poorly as a bad loser.

I felt I must part ways as my differing views were not appreciated and were not taken kindly by many in the party. I thought I must spare them the embarrassment.

The country needs a strong opposition party in parliament and outside parliament in the nature of opinion makers, which is fearless, bipartisan, and plays the role of a watch dog if the ruling party falls prey once again to old world politics of corruption, sleaze and crony capitalism. The AAP can and must fulfil that role.

For that they must step back a bit and accept their mistakes and move on and play a constructive role. And I'm certain they can bounce back in the next elections. They must not throw in the towel.

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