AAP’s Ashutosh quits party on Independence Day, Kejriwal rejects move

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party’s senior leader Ashutosh quit the party on August 15, citing a “very, very personal reason”.

A second tweet read from the 53-year-old leader read, “To media friends. Please respect my privacy. I won’t be giving any bite of any kind. Please cooperate.”

The veteran journalist had left journalism to join AAP in 2014. Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, in fact, rejected his move, and took to Twitter to write: “How can we ever accept your resignation? Not in this lifetime.” Ashutosh’s move came months after a rift within the party over Delhi’s three Rajya Sabha seats.

Sources close to Ashutosh said that it was not a sudden decision, but a “long-thought decision.” In January, Delhi CM Kejriwal had to look within the party to fill the Rajya Sabha seats after being turned down by seven eminent professionals. Buzz at the time was that Ashutosh was being considered for a post.

But the party’s final list had upset several aspirants. Founder member Kumar Vishwas quit the party days later, protesting that he was being “punished for speaking the truth.”

Today, with a nod to Independence Day celebrations across the country, he quipped seemingly at Ashutosh: “Congratulations on the freedom.” Ashutosh contested the Lok Sabha elections from Chandni Chowk constituency, but lost to BJP’s Harsh Vardhan. For the past few months he has been on leave from the party, sources said.