New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party was hit by two heavyweight resignations today. While Shazia Ilmi, a founder member, announced her decision at a press conference in Delhi, Captain GR Gopinath sent his resignation letter from France.
"I am quitting due to lack of inner democracy in a party that continuously talks about Swaraj (self-rule)." Ms Ilmi told reporters. (Watch: Shazia Ilmi quits AAP, says 'lack of democracy' in party)
In his letter sent to the party's leadership, Captain Gopinath said he was quitting "because of increasing difference with the party leadership and its ways."
The Air Deccan founder, who is considered a pioneer in the low-cost airline sector, later told NDTV.com that his reason for quitting the party wasn't the same as that of Ms Ilmi.
"I still admire Arvind Kejriwal for changing the nature of Indian politics. I'm not resigning for lack of inner party democracy. They never asked me to shut up. He must show grace in defeat and focus on building the party brick by brick. He must persist. India needs AAP now that we do not have a national opposition party," he said.
In a blog on Arvind Kejriwal written for NDTV.com before he quit, Captain Gopinath said, "His antics may not go down well with the public and could hurt him and AAP politically." (Blog: Has Arvind Kejriwal Lost His Way?)
Talking to reporters, Ms Ilmi had earlier said, "I have been marginalised like many other leaders in the party. It is time for AAP to introspect." (Read: Press Statement)
She denied reports that she was unhappy over the choice of her Lok Sabha constituency Ghaziabad from where she unsuccessfully contested.
"I am saddened by Shazia ji's resignation. We tried to persuade her to stay but sadly we couldn't convince her, AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is currently lodged in Tihar Jail in connection to a case of defamation filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari. (An Open Letter From Prisoner No. 3642, Arvind Kejriwal)