New Delhi: Days after the poet-turned-politician pointed fingers at the leadership of his own Aam Admi Party (AAP) for overlooking the charges of corruption against its rank and file, as much as he told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that politically exploiting surgical strikes was unseemly, Kumar Vishwas is at loggerheads with the second line of command in the party. For his nationalistic line of thoughts, which he makes no bones about, leaders led by MLA Amanatullah Khan accuse him of being a mole of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the party. Further, they allege he is plotting a coup of sorts in the party.
“AAP MLAs have complained that Kumar Vishwas has claimed to a few of them that within this week there will be a new CM in Delhi,” a well-placed source in the AAP said.
The day before yesterday, Okhla MLA Khan had, while resigning from the party’s highest decision-making body, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), alleged that Vishwas was “planted by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and RSS” in the AAP to destabilise it from within.
Vishwas said to that yesterday, “If Amanatullah Khan had said anything like this against Arvind or Manish, he would have been shown the door in 10 minutes.” Earlier in the day, Vishwas had alleged a conspiracy against him and indicated his possible exit from the party. He said that Khan was a mere “mask” of the leaders who were actually after him.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia rushed to pacify Vishwas late last night. On the way, Sisodia said, ‘We have met him several times. Arvind met him, too, and spoke to him for 3 h at his house. Still, he is not coming to attend the PAC, and is only speaking on television. We appeal to him to come and speak in the PAC. Speaking on TV won’t help find a solution; it will hit the morale of the volunteers.”
“Kumar Vishwas is upset, but I’m confident we will convince him,” the chief minister said after emerging from the latest meeting with the poet-politician in the house of the latter in Ghaziabad. Kejriwal added, “He is an integral part of our movement.”
“He is our friend since the days of the movement. Some differences have arisen; hope we will mollify him,” Kejriwal told reporters.
Meanwhile, several AAP volunteers had gathered outside his residence, raising slogans in his support.
Vishwas found a posse of reporters outside his residence last night following the meeting. Speaking to them, he broke down. He said, “I don’t know why you are here, but I had not joined the movement for this.”
He was emphatic in announcing that he would not join any political party (in the event of his ouster or resignation from the AAP). He ruled out joining Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India, too. He said Kejriwal would remain the chief minister of Delhi.
Defying Sisodia’s appeal to him to not rake up issues in the media, Vishwas said, “I know I will be targeted. The efforts to tarnish my image will be made. But let me tell those conspirators that I will not allow you to do so.”
Vishwas said there was no question of apologising for the 13-minute video referred to above. Sources in the AAP say he is likely to decide whether to stay in the party of quit today, 3 May.