Is Kapil Mishra's bribery allegation against Kejriwal the final nail in AAP's coffin? [Opinion]

Arvind Kejriwal and AAP need to come out clean this time as brushing off these corruption charges will do more harm than good.

Former Delhi water resources minister Kapil Mishra was sacked yesterday from the cabinet by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal over ‘poor performance’. All was well, until Mishra decided to ‘drop a huge bomb’ on the party chief, which is expected to have a long-lasting impact on Kejriwal, at a time when the party is already facing a major crisis, especially after losing the MCD elections badly.

Kapil Mishra accused Kejriwal of bribery and claimed he witnessed Health Minister Satyendar Jain give Kejriwal Rs 2 crore in cash.

“Parson maine Satyendra Jain ji ko Rs 2 crore Arvind Kejriwal ji ko dete huye dekha tha. Main poori raat so nahi paaya (Day before yesterday, I saw Satyendra Jain give Rs 2 crore to Arvind Kejriwal. I could not sleep for the entire night),” he said.

Following the sacked Delhi minister’s allegations, a huge controversy has erupted in the national capital, with the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding Kejriwal’s resignation.

Although, reacting to the allegations, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said they were so absurd that they did not merit any response. The allegations made against Kejriwal is bound to impact AAP’s prospect and anti-corruption image.

After Goa, Punjab and the recent MCD poll debacle, it can be assumed that if this allegation sticks on the mind of the general public for a long time, then this will prove to be the final nail in AAP’s coffin.

A number of times AAP ministers have been accused of corruption or illegal activities, but people use to believe in Kejriwal, however, it seems that if things keep on going like this, then AAP may not be able to win the next election.

The party came into Indian politics with a bang in 2013. Kejriwal was able to make the aam aadmi believe that the AAP government would provide a clean system. However, back to back corruption charges and alledged illegal activities of the AAP leaders have severely damaged the image of the party.

In just two years, the Delhites feel that the Kejriwal government hasn’t done much for them. AAP’s image is such that despite accepting that the BJP’s work in MCD has not been stellar in last 10 years, the voters preferred the saffron party over AAP in the polls.

Blaming others won’t help the party. Notably, Delhi Police has arrested some 11 of the 67 AAP legislators on various charges ranging from rioting, sexual molestation, domestic violence, cheating and land grabbing and assaulting public servant. All of this has tainted AAP’s image.

Despite all the previous allegations, there was only one good thing, i.e. nobody ever accused Kejriwal of personal corruption, however, today there’s a big question mark on the “clean image” of the Delhi CM.

This time, Kejriwal and AAP need to come out clean; rubbishing the allegations will do more harm than good. If these allegations turn out to be true, then the dream of Aam Aadmi — and the concept of a different party — will be shattered and it would become more difficult for the party to survive!