A day after he claimed that he saw Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accept Rs 2 crore from Cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain, the AAP decided to suspend its former minister and MLA Kapil Mishra from the primary membership of the party.
The decision to suspend Mishra was taken late on Monday during a meeting of the AAP’s Political Affairs Committee at Kejriwal’s residence. Following the decision, the party’s senior leadership came out in defence of Kejriwal and Jain, and accused Mishra of acting “on the behest of BJP”.
Kejriwal, meanwhile, broke his silence on the allegation by posting on his official Twitter account: “Jeet satya ki hogi. Kal Delhi Vidhan Sabha ke vishesh satra se iski shuruat. (The truth will win. The beginning will be from the special assembly session tomorrow).”
During the special session on Tuesday, Kejriwal and other AAP leaders are likely to make strong statements on the floor of the House regarding the allegations.
Earlier, Mishra stepped up his attack on Kejriwal and Jain, and said that he has handed over to the Anti-Corruption Bureau documents that allegedly contain information on the “misuse of government money” by AAP in a water tanker scam.
Speaking to reporters, Mishra, who was Delhi’s Water Resources Minister until Saturday when he was sacked for alleged mismanagement, said that he would submit the documents to the CBI as well.
Responding to the allegations, AAP leader Sanjay Singh sought to link Mishra to the BJP.
“The game being played through Kapil Mishra is to exploit Kejriwal and AAP. It is part of a larger conspiracy. What Mishra is saying is exactly what the BJP was saying for so many months. It has now become a joke and people are asking that when Kejriwal was taking a bribe, did he call Mishra and ask him to verify the notes? If Mishra did visit the CM residence, it is not something that can be hidden. Why doesn’t he explain what time he went there? Also, which relative’s deal was it?” said Singh.
Singh also read out from a letter, dated September 24, 2016, which Mishra had purportedly written to the ACB alleging that Kejriwal was being framed by investigators.
“Now Mishra is alleging that Kejriwal was trying to protect (former Delhi chief minister and Congress leader) Sheila Dikshit and her aides in the water tanker scam. But in his letter to the ACB, Mishra had written, ‘As a complainant I can say clearly that your intentions are not right… you are trying to file an FIR against Kejriwal by hook or by crook…. Kejriwal’s name is not mentioned even once in the report… When Sheila Dikshit is the accused, you keep asking questions about Kejriwal’,” Singh alleged.
Mishra hit back by claiming that that he was receiving death threats over his allegations and that the money handed over was allegedly linked to Kejriwal’s brother-in-law.
“Satyendar Jain had personally told me that there was a land deal of Rs 50 crore for a 7-acre plot in Chhatarpur for Kejriwal’s brother-in-law… also, fake bills of Rs 10 crore from the PWD were forged. Whoever raises questions against them (AAP) becomes a BJP and Modi agent… I have fought against BJP, Congress and corruption. I will never join the BJP and I am not in touch with any BJP leader. I challenge all those sitting with Arvind Kejriwal to get proof that I am in touch with the BJP,” Mishra alleged.
Echoing the remarks of some leaders who left the party recently, Mishra claimed that he has been receiving calls and messages from across the country on alleged irregularities within the party.
“Volunteers, IAS officials, people from Punjab are approaching me to share details of irregulaties during the Punjab polls. I am being given details of liquor, money… during the Punjab elections. I have got calls from the US that Sanjay Singh’s relatives were striking deals on tickets for elections,” he alleged.
“Everyone wants to give me information and evidence but they had doubts if I would leave the AAP. I want to assure them that I will never leave the party. I am shaken and shocked by the information I have got. Money was sought for ticket distribution during the municipal polls (in Delhi). I am launching an email id email@example.com where everyone can send information and evidence,” he said.
Referring directly to the party chief, Mishra said, “The Arvind Kejriwal I worshipped is not this Arvind Kejriwal who is standing by Satyendar Jain. I know he is drawn to the ‘kursi’ (seat of power). Jis din Satyender Jain jail jaenge us din kursi chhodoge ya tab bhi baithe rahoge (Will you leave the chair the day Satyendar Jain goes to jail or will you still cling on)?”
The AAP’s defence followed immediately as Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia stepped out of the PAC meeting to criticise Mishra for levelling “baseless” allegations against Kejriwal’s relative “who died hours ago”.
“He is levelling absurd allegations against a man who was cremated this morning… just two hours after his pyre was lit. It is sad to see that humanity has died… At least, bring some proof,” said Sisodia, referring to the death of a relative of Kejriwal.
Jain, too, broke his silence on the allegations and accused Mishra of lying.
“There is a limit to lying. I can prove in many ways that I wasn’t present at the CM’s residence on Friday, May 5. He has lost his mental balance and is making baseless allegations. Show us papers or proof if it’s true,” he said.
Jain also retweeted a post on an unverified Twitter handle @KejriwalSunita, which read: “My brother in law is no more n this stupid man is speaking all written script without any mind.”