Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that there were no truth in the reports of a fissure between him and his party colleague, Kumar Vishwas.
Kejriwal tweeted, “Kumar is my younger brother. Some people are showing fissures between us. They are the enemy of the party (Aam Aadmi Party) and they should refrain from this act. Nobody can separate us.”
कुमार मेरा छोटा भाई है। कुछ लोग हमारे बीच दरार दिखा रहे हैं,ऐसे लोग पार्टी के दुश्मन हैं !वो बाज़ आयें। हमें कोई अलग नहीं कर सकता
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 30, 2017
Kejriwal’s statement came after AAP’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan alleged earlier today that Vishwas was trying to “usurp” the Aam Aadmi Party and that he harbours ambitions of leading the party.
On Friday, contrary to the party line that EVM rigging was behind AAP’s loss in the Punjab Assembly and MCD polls, Vishwas had pointed to reasons other than alleged tampering of electronic voting machines and said there is a communication gap between the top brass and volunteers.
He said AAP was getting “Congressised” to an extent.
Khan, a member of the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC), its apex decision-making body, also claimed that poet- turned-politician Vishwas has been calling MLAs to his residence and coaxing them to rebel against Kejriwal or to join the BJP.
“Kumar Vishwas is trying to usurp the AAP and break the AAP. He is calling MLAs to his residence and saying that he should be made the party convener. Or else, they (MLAs) can join the BJP, which is ready to pay Rs 30 crore to each MLA.
“This is what (Swaraj India President and expelled AAP leader) Yogendra Yadav also wants. I think this is happening at the behest of the BJP. It has deployed four MLAs to take AAP legislators to Kumar Vishwas’ house. This has been confirmed by at least 10 party MLAs,” Khan said in a message circulated to the media.
“Yesterday, a minister also convened a meeting of four MLAs,” he added.
When contacted Khan did not elaborate on the message and said he will “spill the beans” at an appropriate time.
There have been reports everything not being well between Kejriwal and Vishwas particularly after AAP faced electoral setbacks in Goa, Punjab and MCD elections.
Vishwas was reported to be unhappy with how he was sidelined from the party’s campaign team in the two states that went to polls in February. He was sent to Goa but, according to sources close to Vishwas, it was a case of too-little-too-late.
The party suffered a humiliating defeat in Goa and could only get 20-odd seats in 70-seat Punjab assembly.
When Vishwas recently released a video in the backdrop of unrest in Kashmir, it was widely being seen as a veiled attack on Kejriwal.
In the video, Vishwas had said, “Our focus is mostly on our leaders instead of our issues. Modi-Modi, Arvind-Arvind, Rahul-Rahul, yeh saare bas kuch saal rahenge, par desh 5,000 saal ka hai (Modi-Modi, Arvind-Arvind, Rahul-Rahul. This will last for just few years, but the country is of 5,000 years old).”
More recently, the divide within the AAP over its leadership’s claim of EVM rigging appeared to widen with Vishwas pointing to reasons beyond the party’s official stand to explain its recent poll defeats.
Vishwas, a member of party’s top decision making body, the Political Affairs Committee, said there had been a “communication gap” between the party, its volunteers and voters, adding that the AAP is getting “Congressionised” to an extent.
(With inputs from PTI)