I saw Shazia Ilmi for the first time during IAC days. Saw her on the stage with Anna and co. But what struck me was her feisty nature on TV debates. It was good to see. It showed her strength and resolve for the issue she was fighting for. She is a strong lady. No doubts about that.
I was happy that she was around with Arvind when AAP was formed. She along with Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh and few others was the backbone of AAP. It was disappointing to see her lose from RK Puram by a very small margin in the Delhi elections. Then came AAP’s plunge to Lok Sabha elections and we started hearing the rumors. She was not happy with party leadership? But we thought she was an integral part of that very leadership?! Unfortunately, it seemed like Sanjay Singh and few others had taken control. Voices of people like Shazia were not being heard. Kumar Vishwas was unhappy too. The good thing about AAP is that all volunteers and supporters know about these problems and discuss on public platforms. But we were hoping that once the Lok Sabha elections were over, we would have time to fix the internal party democracy issues. Alas, that has not happened. Not yet.
So it has led us to this unfortunate day. Shazia Ilmi has resigned from the party and explained her reasons for doing so. Major point being internal party democracy. If Shazia cannot get herself heard within the party then how can volunteers reach to the leadership? It is a very serious issue which has been plaguing the party for a very long time. Everyone knows but in jumping from one election to the other, the issue has been sidelined. And that is why I thank Shazia Ilmi today. For bringing the issue up and putting it in the forefront. The “leadership” needs to take notice of this and act. And by “leadership” I am referring to that one man who started it all and has a vision for the party.
Yes, it has to be Arvind. I feel for him. He is fighting a very difficult battle and in difficult times. As I write this, it has been 60+ hours of him being in jail. But he is not going to break down. He is made of steel. I do not want him to compromise on his principles. Not at all. But when he does come out of jail, he needs to take a short hiatus from active politics. Go back in time. Revisit Swaraj. Meet Anna. Think about the vision he had for Aam Aadmi Party. Get feedback from supporters. Visit people of Delhi without any intent to campaign. And he must do this alone. Because, cheesy as it may sound, he is the chosen one!
Whether Arvind does this or not, I will stand by him because he is fighting a battle which only he dared to begin. But once again, thank you Shazia ma’am. I am sure it must not have been easy for you to take this decision. But I also know that you will be back one day!