NEW DELHI: The suspense over the of AAP’s founding member, , from the party continued on Friday. A source said Ashutosh, who is also a member of the party’s highest decision-making body — political affairs committee — was unlikely to withdraw his resignation, which he had announced on Twitter on Wednesday.
Chief minister Arvind has refused to accept Ashutosh’s resignation. AAP’s Delhi convener, , and party national spokesperson Dilip Pandey went to Ashutosh’s house on Wednesday to convince him to take back the resignation. But they found the house locked. has been making attempts to bring him back with some functionaries making emotional appeals on Twitter, a source said.
Ashutosh has kept his lips sealed since the tweet and did not respond to calls and messages from TOI.
Although Kejriwal has refused to accept the resignation, he and his deputy, Manish Sisodia, have so far refrained from visiting Ashutosh, a step that they had taken when now-estranged Kumar Vishwas went into a sulking mode. Gopal Rai has been asked to reach out to Ashutosh.
Towards the climax of the 2011 anti-corruption movement, Ashutosh quit his job like many other professionals to join AAP. He had aggressively championed the ideals of AAP and defended the party whenever it came under attack from political opponents on various issues.
He was believed to be among the frontrunners for the three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi earlier this year. However, another senior leader, Sanjay Singh, and two outsiders finally got selected.
Recently, AAP put five senior leaders in charge of the five Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and, according to sources, they are likely to be AAP’s candidates in these seats in 2019. Ashutosh, who had lost the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Chandni Chowk to BJP’s Harsh Vardhan, was not among the chosen five. AAP national secretary Pankaj Gupta has been given charge of Chandni Chowk. “Ashutosh was not interested in contesting the general elections,” claimed a source in the party.
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