Thursday 26 May 2022
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AAP beats hasty retreat from Himachal Pradesh

Barely days after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann declared the AAP would win Himachal Pradesh next, the party has dissolved the state unit

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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has dissolved its Himachal Pradesh unit, as its top-rung leaders in the state deserted the party and made a beeline for the BJP. AAP’s election in-charge for Himachal Pradesh and Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain announced the dissolution of the state unit on 11 April in the evening.

“Himachal Pradesh’s Aam Aadmi Party state working committee has been dissolved. The new state working committee will be reorganised again,” tweeted Jain. The AAP issued a press note too, saying that the state unit has been dissolved.

The units of the assemblies will continue to function as it is. Soon a string organisation will be formed, it said.

The announcement by the AAP came three days after its state president Anoop Kesari along with the party’s organisation secretary joined the saffron party hours before BJP National President JP Nadda’s roadshow in Shimla.

AAP’s women wing chief Mamta Thakur, along with five other office bearers, joined BJP at its central office in New Delhi. Others include vice president of AAP’s women’s wing Sonia Bindal and Sangeeta (Single name ), DK Sharma, vice president of AAP’s industrial wing and social media vice president Ashish Kumar.

‘Congressisation’ of AAP

Meanwhile, former Himachal Pradesh AAP president Anoop Kesari said he was “planning to move court against the senior AAP leadership for slinging mud at me”, denying allegations of “misbehaviour with women” made by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

“Show me the complaint and the complainant. Is there any proof? Is there any FIR? I rose through the ranks in that party, and when I quit, I got this shabby treatment,” Kesari, an advocate, said.

“Dedicated party workers were ignored first during (Delhi Health Minister) Satyendar Jain’s roadshow in on 12 March and then during Kejriwal’s roadshow in Mandi on 6 April,” said Kesari, who hails from Khanpur village near Una.

“Congressisation” of AAP and the party’s indifference to party workers, said Kesari, made him join the BJP “without any conditions”.

Yeh lokpriyata hasil karane ki halki rajneeti hai (This kind of poor politics is meant to get popularity. This is cheap politics),” Kesari said about Sisodia’s allegations, claiming that it was the AAP instead “that misbehaved with workers”.

Kesari said he joined the AAP in 2013-14 as a worker and became state unit president on 20 December 2020. In the intervening period, he was AAP’s district Una president, state vice-president, member of the state disciplinary committee, and part of the four-member state core committee.

Sources said that while not much got done under Kesari’s leadership, he can’t be blamed for it as AAP did not have any organisational set-up in the state.

A BJP leader said, “When they needed someone to wear their cap, they chose his head. Later, they put his head on the chopping block.” The BJP leader added that Kesari used to be a small-time BJP worker before he joined the AAP.

“Everything was fine till the Mandi rally. Everything was fine till he was with AAP. When he joined the BJP, everything became bad. Jab jhatka laga, tab aisi-aisi baatein nikal ke aa rahi hain (When they suffered a blow, such allegations were made),” said state BJP president Suresh Kashyap.

The AAP is non-existent in the state and he is not a known leader, said state Congress president Kuldeep Rathore. “But he (Kesari) was humiliated by his former party. Manish Sisodia’s statement that there were complaints against him seems like an afterthought.”

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