‘Where is the FIR?’, asks former Himachal AAP chief about ‘misbehaviour’ charge as party dissolves state unit

Denying allegations of “misbehaviour with women” made by Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, former Himachal Pradesh AAP president Anoop Kesari said he is “planning to move court against the senior AAP leadership for slinging mud at me”.

“Show me the complaint and the complainant. Is there any proof? Is there any FIR? I rose through the ranks in that party, and when I quit, I got this shabby treatment,” Kesari, an advocate, told The Indian Express over the phone.

Barely two days after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and the party’s Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann held a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ in Mandi in the BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh, Kesari along with two other functionaries switched to the saffron party.

On Monday, the AAP Himachal Pradesh election in-charge Satyendar Jain dissolved the state unit of the party, with the AAP attributing the move to the need to strengthen the party by inducting people based on merit.

“Dedicated party workers were ignored first during (Delhi Health Minister) Satyendar Jain’s roadshow in Shimla on March 12 and then during Kejriwal’s roadshow in Mandi on April 6,” said Kesari, who hails from Khanpur village near Una.

“Congressisation” of AAP and the party’s indifference to party workers, said Kesari, made him join the BJP “without any conditions”.

Yeh lokpriyata hasil karane ki halki rajneeti hai. Ghatia rajneeti hai (This kind of poor politics is meant to get popularity. This is cheap politics),” Kesari said about Sisodia’s allegations, claiming that it was AAP instead “which misbehaved with workers”.

Kesari said he joined the AAP in 2013-14 as a worker and became state unit president on December 20, 2020. In the intervening period, he was AAP’s district Una president, state vice-president, member of state disciplinary committee, and part of the four-member state core committee.

Sources said that while not much got done under Kesari’s leadership, he can’t be blamed for it as AAP did not have any organisational set-up in the state.

Said a BJP leader, “When they needed someone to wear their cap, they chose his head. Later, they put his head on the chopping block.” The BJP leader added that Kesari used to be a small-time BJP worker before he joined the AAP.

“Everything was fine till the Mandi rally. Everything was fine till he was with AAP. When he joined the BJP, everything became bad. Jab jhatka laga, tab aisi-aisi baatein nikal ke aa rahi hain (When they suffered a blow, such allegations were made),” said state BJP president Suresh Kashyap.

The AAP is non-existent in the state and he is not a known leader, said state Congress president Kuldeep Rathore. “But he (Kesari) was humiliated by his former party. Manish Sisodia’s statement that there were complaints against him seems like an afterthought.”

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