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Is there a Pattern in Rebellion of Kumar Vishwas and Kapil Mishra?

Just when it looked like Arvind Kejriwal had steered Aam Aadmi Party clear of one crisis, Kumar Vishwas’s rebellion, another one hit him on Sunday when Kapil Mishra, Delhi’s water minister who was sacked a day before, charged Delhi Chief Minister of taking “illegal cash” from PWD minister Satyendra Jain.

Aishwarya Kumar, Uday Singh Rana

Updated:May 8, 2017, 1:06 PM IST
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Is there a Pattern in Rebellion of Kumar Vishwas and Kapil Mishra?
File photo of sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra

New Delhi: Just when it looked like Arvind Kejriwal had steered Aam Aadmi Party clear of one crisis, Kumar Vishwas’s rebellion, another one hit him on Sunday when Kapil Mishra, Delhi’s water minister who was sacked a day before, charged Delhi Chief Minister of taking “illegal cash” from PWD minister Satyendar Jain.

Mishra, who was seen as a part of Kejriwal’s ‘inner circle’ till Thursday, was removed unceremoniously from the Delhi Cabinet on Saturday evening. Within hours, Mishra came out with his “expose”. He claimed he had seen Jain hand over Rs 2 crore “illegal cash” to Kejriwal.

kapil-mishra1

Many AAP MLAs and party insiders questioned the timing of Kapil Mishra’s allegations and pointed out at Saturday night’s tweets by Mishra and Vishwas. According to multiple sources in AAP, Mishra and Vishwas were seen very close to each other and that might have been one of the reasons why Kejriwal dropped Mishra from his Cabinet unceremoniously.

Kapil-Mishra

Also, in stark contrast to the drama that unfolded after AAP lost municipal polls in Delhi on April 25, when Vishwas questioned Kejriwal’s leadership and then went silent for about a week, leaving the party vulnerable to criticism from all corners, on Sunday, Vishwas was quick to appear before the media. “I have known Kejriwal for 12 years. I can’t think that he will indulge in corruption,” said Vishwas. His repeated visits to the CM’s official house on Sunday were also seen as a part of a bigger bargain.

Kumar-vishwas

When Mishra first went rogue on Sunday, there were whispers within AAP if Vishwas had anything to do with it. One MLA said last week when the feud between Vishwas and Okhla MLA Amantullah Khan was simmering, Mishra was seen lobbying for the poet-turned-politician.

Another senior AAP MLA said, “Mishra has always been close to Vishwas. I don’t know how things are at the moment. But they have been very close.”

A third AAP MLA said both Vishwas and Mishra were destabilizing AAP at the behest of the BJP. “Last week, when Vishwas was commenting against Kejriwal, we knew he was not alone. Now we know that Mishra is with him.”

A former aide to Kejriwal said, “Till Saturday night, Mishra and Vishwas were tweeting about taking on corruption. They were retweeting each other, etc. Now, Mishra has come out against Kejriwal. And interestingly, Vishwas reached the CM’s house within minutes. Equations changed overnight, clearly.”

kumar-vishwas1

AAP MLAs feeling betrayed and confused

When News18 reached out to multiple AAP MLAs, most of them said while they had “complete faith” in Kejriwal’s integrity, the entire episode has left them confused and demoralized.

AAP’s Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti said, “Arvind Kejriwal can be a lot of things but he can never be corrupt. And this is something all his colleagues can vouch for.”

Another AAP MLA, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We are hurt and confused. Everyone who knows Arvind can bet on the fact that he can’t be corrupt. There can never be any truth in this. But what I don’t understand why Kapil is doing this… this feels like a betrayal.”

AAP MLA Pawan Kumar Sharma said, “All these are baseless allegations. For starters, do you think Kejriwal would call Mishra in advance and ask him to be present during the alleged exchange of unaccounted money? Mishra is just upset because he was sacked as a minister.”

Another senior AAP MLA said, “Mishra looked fine till Saturday morning. If he had seen the alleged exchange of money, why did he wait till now? He started speaking as soon as he was sacked.”

But some AAP leaders said there faith in Kejriwal was shaken after Mishra’s allegations. “Many people used to talk about Kejriwal’s compromises on ethics for the sake of expansion. Now someone who worked closely with him has spoken out. Mishra’s allegations must be probed and the truth must come out.”

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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