In a significant development for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Komal Hupendi, the president of its Chhattisgarh unit, resigned along with five other key state office bearers. This move comes in the wake of the party’s disappointing performance in the recent assembly elections, raising concerns about AAP’s prospects in central India.
Formerly employed in the government, Hupendi joined the Aam Aadmi Party in 2016, steadily climbing the ranks to become the state president. However, the 2023 assembly elections dealt a severe blow to Hupendi and the party, leading to a substantial decline in their vote share in Chhattisgarh.
Despite speculation, Hupendi dismissed reports linking him to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), emphasizing that such claims are baseless.
The resignation of key figures, including the state vice-president Prakash Miri and two general secretaries, compounds the challenges for the AAP. The party has been striving to establish a stronghold in central India, and the departure of Hupendi and others could prove to be a setback.
Hupendi attributed his decision to resign to the lack of communication from senior party leaders. He expressed dissatisfaction with not being consulted on critical decisions, such as the distribution of party tickets in the 2023 elections.
“I left my government job and joined AAP because I thought the party was clear and different, but things were not as expected. The party ignored me and decided that they would contest only 55 seats… We wanted to fight for all 90 seats… I wanted to talk to the higher-ups, but they never responded. Fed up with all this, I submitted the resignation along with others,” he explained.
Addressing rumors about his potential shift to the BJP, Hupendi clarified, “It is merely a rumor… I am still contemplating my next political step, but this is definite that I will work for my people.”
In response to the mass resignations, AAP spokesperson Priyanka Shukla emphasized the party’s commitment to fighting against authoritarianism under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal. Shukla acknowledged the fluid nature of political affiliations, stating, “People come and go… We wish them (those who left) a better future.”
As the AAP grapples with internal challenges, the departure of key leaders raises questions about the party’s strategy and future direction in Chhattisgarh and central India.