Senior AAP leader and spokesperson Shazia Ilmi has resigned from the party, an event that has raise a few eyebrows and marked the first victim of the party's bad performance in the Lok Sabha elections.
Another prominent member of the party, Captain Gopinath, a pioneer in India's aviation sector, has also announced his decision to leave the party.
In a news conference, Shazia Ilmi claimed that the main reason why she has resigned is the 'lack of democracy' within the party "that continuously talks about Swaraj".
She added in the conference that her comments would be taken as "constructive criticism" by the AAP, noting that AAP's tendency to "perpetuate sensationalism is reducing our credibility".
The popular TV personality, often thought to be a powerful voice of the Aam Aadmi Party, has been struggling to set a footprint in the party and was reported to have been particularly disappointed with the party's decision to deny her a ticket for Delhi in favour of other members.
While Ilmi hasn't confirmed her intention to resign, Times of India citing a message from an unidentified phone number, reported that she was planning to announce her resignation on Saturday at a press conference. The newspaper did not elaborate further on the nature of the message, and its authenticity.
Ilmi was one of the founding members of the Anna movement and a very reputed member of the AAP that was formed under the leadership of the anti-corruption stalwart, Arvind Kejriwal. She is said to have felt sidelined when the party asked her to contest the LS poll from Rae Bareilly, much against her will. Ilmi was later given a ticket from Ghaziabad, where she was confronted with disastrous results against BJP candidate V K Singh.
The move, comes at possibly the worst time for the party as its leader Arvind Kejriwal is in prison for the next two weeks.
Like many of her party members, Ilmi has also faced controversy in February when she told public, without proof, that Delhi's corruption level had been reduced during AAP's 49-day rule.
The statement was made citing a Transparency International's report, which was categorically rejected by the research company – an incident that proved to be one of the most embarrassing one for the party.
Meanwhile, soon after news of Ilmi and Captain Gopinath's resignation surfaced in the news netizens have stormed the micro-blogging site, Twitter with interesting posts, many of whom claimed, it was the beginning of the end of AAP while others thought the party has lost a very good speaker. Here are some of the comments:
— Ravi Garg (@RaviGarg_iitm) May 24, 2014
#ShaziaIlmi: "I've fought for 4 years like an obedient soldier, however I have now been systematically marginalized"
— Political Keeda (@ElectioNerd) May 24, 2014
— Suresh En (@surnell) May 24, 2014
It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends ~ Dumbledore. #ShaziaIlmi
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) May 24, 2014
Actually this Press Conference was the most commendable public appearance of #ShaziaIlmi till now.
— #ABitRudeButTrue (@ashesh_dxb) May 24, 2014
— Manish Khurpade (@Redfish18) May 24, 2014