Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal managed to keep his party from imploding as he gave into the demands of Kumar Vishwas. The party has suspended MLA Amanatullah Khan for publically speaking against Vishwas and calling him a BJP-RSS agent. Additionally, Vishwas has been made Rajasthan’s party in-charge as the state goes to polls next year. Khan’s suspension is largely seen as a compromise after Vishwas had threatened to quit the party.
It all started after Vishwas slammed party high command following party’s back to back poll defeats. In an interview with a private news channel, Vishwas alleged that party top brass had lost connect with grass root workers. He also went on to say that Kejriwal should not have questioned Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi over surgical strike. Among other reasons, he also attributed lack of” intra-party democracy and “trust deficit” with voters for party’s loss. He also went against party line and shrugged off Kejriwal’s rigged EVM allegation for its poll defeat. “This is our sixth defeat because we were disconnected with volunteers. EVMs should not be blamed solely. We lost because people did not vote for us.” Vishwas had said.
Following Vishwas’s terse remark against party high command, Khan on April 29 levelled allegations of horse trading against poet-turned-politician saying he was conspiring to break the party and had asked some legislators to join the BJP with an offer of Rs 30 crore each. “Vishwas is telling MLAs to make him convener or else go with him to BJP, which is ready to offer Rs 30 crore to each MLA,” He also alleged that Vishwas was trying to “usurp” the AAP and that he harbours ambitions of leading the party. What followed next was a huge backlash from Vishwas and his supporters. On May 1, Okhla MLA resigned from party’s political affairs committee for his controversial remark. But Khan was not to be cowed down. “I will stick to what I have said so far. This person (Vishwas) had invited Ajit Doval and RSS workers for his birthday party. How is it that he did not think of AAP MLAs and volunteers then… at a time when the police, directed by the BJP, was arresting us and had launched a witch-hunt. Now he is talking about the greater good of the party… I still say he is an agent of the BJP and is trying to break the party,” Khan told The Indian Express after his resignation.
Delhi CM’s attempt to undo the damage failed again. In an emotional outburst on May 2, Vishwas reiterated his demand for Khan’s expulsion saying,”Had someone made such remarks against Kejriwal or Sisodia, he would have been expelled at once.” He also said that he may take a decision by end of the day prompting Kejriwal to rush to his Ghaziabad home to convince 47-year-old leader. Over 30 AAP MLAs signed a letter urging the top leadership to expel Khan. In party’s Political Affairs Committee meeting which lasted for three hours at Kejriwal’s residence party decided to give greater responsibility to Vishwas by making him Rajasthan’s party in-charge for next year’s assembly polls and also showed the door to Khan.