NEW DELHI, May 2
The split in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) got deeper on Tuesday as party’s founding member Kumar Vishwas and Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodiya took to media to lash out at each other.
Vishwas, who has been accused by AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan of hobnobbing with the BJP and the RSS, questioned party leaders as to why no action had been taken against the Okhla MLA.
He said Amanatullah was merely a “mask” behind those hatching conspiracies against him.
“Had Amanatullah Khan said anything like this against Arvind or Manish, he would have been shown the door in 10 minutes,” Vishwas said.
Minutes after Vishwas’s attack on the party leadership, Sisodiya came out in defence of the party and lashed out Vishwas for airing his grievances in front of the media.
“Volunteers understand who is Kumar Vishwas helping by airing his grievances through media,” Sisodiya said, adding, “Vishwas was invited to party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) meet but he didn’t turn up.”
“If he has a problem with the party, he should raise it in the party forum,” he said.
Earlier, an emotional Vishwas said, “If someone had spoken against Arvind or Manish, the party would not have been silent.” He also denied to tender an apology to anyone for the video in which he had apparently attacked AAP convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for the latter’s past stand on Indian Army’s operations.
As per the reports, AAP had issued a gag order against some of its leaders, including Kumar Vishwas, and the latter broke his silence, saying, “I will speak out whenever required”.
He accused Okhla MLA of spreading false propaganda against him to demotivate the party cadres and said “I will not be affected by any negative campaign against me.”
Vishwas also ruled out any ambition for the top posts in the Delhi government or party.
“I have conveyed this to Arvind, Manish (Sisodia) and I reiterate it today that I don’t want to become chief minister, deputy chief minister or AAP’s national convener.
“I don’t want to join any political party or Swaraj India (political party founded by expelled AAP leader Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.
“I don’t know what you want to do, but I don’t want to do this,” Vishwas told reporters outside his Ghaziabad residence.
Vishwas said the fighting in the party will leave the volunteers demotivated.
“Five years ago, we didn’t sign up for this. Today, we have disappointed a major section of our grassroots workers. Neither I, nor they signed up for this. There are many who left their jobs to volunteer for us,” an emotional Vishwas told reporters.
Earlier in the day, several AAP MLAs, including Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra met Vishwas, seeking to pacify him.
However, it appeared to have yielded no results. Vishwas also remained adamant on Khan being sacked from the party.
Amanatullah had resigned from the party’s PAC on Monday night.
This comes days after Amanatullah accused Vishwas of plotting to turn 34 AAP MLAs against Kejriwal. He had also accused Vishwas of acting at behest of BJP, which was ready to pay Rs 30 crore for each AAP turncoat legislator.
Following this, as many as 37 AAP MLAs demanded Kejriwal to sack Amanatullah.
The MLAs also demanded a probe to ascertain on whose behest Amanatullah made such a statement.
Kejriwal also came in defence of Vishwas calling him a younger brother.
“Kumar is my younger brother. Some people are trying to drive a wedge between us. They are enemies of the party. They should refrain. No one can separate us,” he had tweeted.
NEW DELHI, May 2