Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday plunged into a fresh crisis after it asked one of its MLAs, Alka Lamba to resign from the party over a controversy surrounding former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Although it’s not clear what triggered the AAP to direct Lamba to resign, the Chandni Chowk MLA has said that she was asked to leave the party after she refused to support a resolution, demanding withdrawal of Bharat Ratna award, conferred on the late Indian prime minister.
“The party has asked for my resignation. I’m ready to resign but Rajiv Gandhi has sacrificed a lot for country and I didn’t support the proposal of taking back his Bharat Ratna. I’ve been asked to resign because I stood against the decision of the party,” news agency ANI quoted Lamba as saying.
She added, “I am ready to resign.”
She later tweeted saying that the AAP had brought a resolution in the state assembly on Friday demanding the withdrawal of the Bharat Ratna from Rajiv Gandhi, which she said, she was not ready to support. She said, “Today, a resolution was brought in the Delhi Assembly demanding the withdrawal of the Bharat Ratna from the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. I was asked to support this resolution in my speech, which I refused and walked out of the House. I am ready to face any consequences for my decision.
आज @DelhiAssembly में प्रस्ताव लाया गया की पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री स्वर्गीय श्री राजीव गांधी जी को दिया गया भारत रत्न वापस लिया जाना चाहिये,
मुझे मेरे भाषण में इसका समर्थन करने को कहा गया,जो मुझे मंजूर नही था,मैंने सदन से वॉक आउट किया।
अब इसकी जो सज़ा मिलेगी,मैं उसके लिये तैयार हूँ। pic.twitter.com/ykZ54XJSAv
— Alka Lamba (@LambaAlka) December 21, 2018
The Delhi unit of the Congress, according to NDTV, has hit out at the AAP, calling it a ‘B team of BJP’ as the party reacted angrily over the resolution on Rajiv Gandhi.
Ajay Maken, the Delhi President of the Congress tweeted a video of an AAP MLA’s speech and wrote, “Look at the video of the resolution being passed by AAP in Delhi Assembly. Presiding over, is the speaker of Delhi Assembly, who was a BJP MLA in the 1st Delhi Assembly in 1993. Will not rest till Kejriwal apologises and withdraws this resolution! Call a special session.”
Look at the video of the resolution being passed by AAP in Delhi Assembly.?
Presiding over, is the speaker of Delhi Assembly, who was a BJP MLA in the 1st Delhi Assembly in 1993.
Will not rest till Kejriwal apologises and withdraws this resolution! Call a special session. pic.twitter.com/bJLozQ65py
— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) December 21, 2018
Another Congress leader, Arvinder Singh Lovely, wrote, “Shameful .The party which did not find any Sikh worth of giving representation in cabinet in both term is trying to show as sympathizer of Sikhs. Rajivji sacrificed his life for nation disrespecting him only shows their petty mindset and expose their affilations.”
In 2016, the AAP had suspended Lamba from the party’s list of spokespersons after she contradicted the party line when she told reporters outside the office of the ACB that the Transport Minister Gopal Rai had been “relieved” of his ministry so that a fair investigation could be carried out in the Premium Bus Service scheme.