Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday confirmed that Kumar Vishwas was not going to Rajya Sabha. Confirming the media reports, Delhi’s deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, on Wednesday said that three names put forward by the party for the Rajya Sabha seats were Sanjay Singh, Narayan Gupta and Sushil Gupta.
Sushil Gupta is currently the president of Punjabi Bagh Club and had recently left Congress to join the Aam Aadmi Party. He had also contested the assembly polls on Congress ticket. Some Congress leaders alleged that while submitting his resignation on 28 November last year, Sushil Gupta had allegedly said that he was quitting because of the Rajya Sabha seat promised by the AAP.
The news prompted the disgruntled Kumar Vishwas to launch an all-out attack against his long time friend and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal holding him responsible for denying him the Rajya Sabha seat.
He told reporters, “Arvind had once said that I will be killed but not martyred. Today, I accept the martyrdom. All I request Kejriwal is that please tell your Twitter warriors and ministers to leave me alone as there are some rules even in war. When you kill your enemies, you don’t tinker with their dead bodies”
Many analysts believe that Vishwas may go on to cause a split in the party even though his hold over MLAs is believed to be considerably weak.
Although, Kejriwal has not commented on the controversy surrounding over his selection of Sushil Gupta, a retweet (below) by him appeared to have given away his thinking behind the decision.
Truthfully, I didn’t understand the electoral significance of the two Guptas till a BJP leader DMed me saying it is a ‘masterstroke by AK.’ BJP urban voted are ulikely to go to Congress but they may very well go to AAP. Clever.
— Krishan Partap Singh (@RaisinaSeries) January 3, 2018
Meanwhile, AAP foot soldiers on social media including WhatsApp have gone into frenzy to desperately convince the supporters that the decision was a masterstroke by Kejriwal in order to win over the support of the trader community in Haryana.
AAP supporters have also begun circulating the screenshot of Sushil Gupta describing him a ‘social activist’ of repute whilecharting out his pedigree.
The social media forward claims that Sushil Gupta was an ‘educationist, agriculturist and social worker with exemplary work in field of Education and Healthcare.’
Not so long ago, Sushil Gupta had launched a personal campaign against Kejriwal demanding accountability on the money spent for ‘self publicity.’
Today’s decision has forced many AAP supporters to declare that they were quitting the party. Pushing the name of Sushil Gupta has also reportedly angered some senior party functionaries. According to one leader, when the AAP leadership proposed Asutosh’s name along with Sushil Gupta and Sanjay Singh, he snapped saying he had no desire to represent the party in the Upper House with Gupta.
Another leader, not wishing to be named, said that what Kejriwal’s detractors needed to see if any of the three Rajya Sabha nominees were corrupt.
“Our party was born on the pledge of fighting corruption. As long as we don’t compromise with that ethos, we must not worry about criticism the selection of Sushil Gupta,” she said.
It’s still not clear whether Wednesday’s decision will cause a mini-revolt among AAP MLAs. It also remains to be seen if this decision of Delhi Chief Minister weakens his grip over his party in time to come.