New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's decision to extend support to his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar in the upcoming Assembly election has not gone down well with AAP activists in the eastern state, with some of them even contemplating to quit the party.
Aam Aadmi Party's state leaders complained of "complete disconnect" and even accused the party's central leadership of not taking them into confidence before announcing its support to Kumar, whose JD(U) is contesting the Bihar polls in alliance with Lalu Prasad-led RJD and Congress.
Parveen Amanullah, who quit as minister in the Nitish Kumar government to join AAP just before the Lok Sabha polls, said Kejriwal should have supported Kumar's JD(U) based on a common minimum programme, instead of "blindly backing" him.
"We were completely taken aback when he (Kejriwal) unilaterally offered support to Nitish. Those in Delhi do not involve people from Bihar before taking any decision.
"At least what Kejriwal could have done is to agree upon a seat-sharing agreement on the least common minimum grounds before unconditionally offering support to him. There are many who have quit their jobs and put everything at stake for the party," Amanullah, who had unsuccessfully contested from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency on an AAP ticket last year, said.
Amanullah claimed that the decisions to not contest the Bihar polls and then support Kumar have not gone down well with the party cadre as it had been opposing the "ill-doings" of the JD(U) government.
Kejriwal, who is locked in a turf war with the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, has announced his support to Nitish Kumar. With both having a common foe in Modi, the Delhi Chief Minister even travelled to Bihar last week to canvas support for Kumar.
Geeta Arya, who was JD(U)'s state secretary and had quit the party to join AAP, along with Amanullah, in a much pompous affair at the party's Hanuman Road office in Delhi last year, said she tried to alert the party leadership about the issue but could not get through them.
"It's very difficult to continue in the party under such circumstances," she said.
"How can they support Nitish when he is with Lalu (Prasad
Yadav). We have not forgotten the time when lawlessness ruled Bihar when RJD was in power.
"They never asked us before extending their support to Nitish. I myself travelled to Delhi on numerous occasions, but to no avail. I made numerous calls to AAP leader Sanjay Singh (who played a key role in inducting her and Amanullah in the party), but I simply cannot get through them," Arya, who had unsuccessfully contested on an AAP ticket from Sasaram, said.
Vijay Verma, AAP's Purnea district convener, who recently resigned from the party too raised the same issue of the leadership supporting Kumar.
"When Kejriwal came to Bihar he attended Nitish Kumar's function, but did not even bother to address the party cadre here."
"We would have had no problem if Kumar would have contested on his own. But he has Lalu with him and we had sought votes against him in the Lok Sabha polls," Verma said, who claimed that around 54 party office-bearers and members have quit from the Seemanchal belt.