The MLA, a former Congressman, said forming the government by taking support of Congress was a “compromise of the party’s principles”. (IE Photo: Amit Mehra)
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Vinod Kumar Binny on Thursday described Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s style of functioning as “autocratic”, and alleged the party was now working at the behest of the Congress.
At an explosive press conference outside his home, Binny repeated the charges he had made on Wednesday, accusing the Delhi government of having failed to fulfill its promises.
He added that if no amends were made in the next 10 days, he would sit on an indefinite protest fast at Jantar Mantar from January 27 along with “like minded people, including from within my own party”.
Binny, however, said he would not quit the party, of which he was a “loyal soldier”. And it would be unfortunate if the party were to expel him for raising issues that were important to the people.
Two hours after Binny’s outburst, party leader Yogendra Yadav responded to his charges. Yadav said Binny was reading from a “BJP script”, and announced disciplinary proceedings had been initiated against him. He accused Binny of spreading untruths because of “personal issues that he had”, and dismissed Binny’s charges as the result of the grudge he nursed for not being given a ministry, and “discouraged from applying for a Lok Sabha ticket”.
Binny, who had raised the banner of revolt after the Delhi cabinet was announced on December 25, said, “That Arvind Kejriwal and Sandeep Dikshit have a long friendship is something that the world knows and I am aware of as well. Kahin na kahin, AAP ke decisions mein Congress ka bada haath hai (The Congress has a major hand in the decisions taken by the AAP). Parde ke peechhe bada khel hai (A big game is being played behind the curtain).”
The AAP government, Binny said, had “cheated the people”, and not fulfilled its promises.
“…So many people had responded to Arvind Kejriwal’s call during the bijli-paani andolan and refused to pay exorbitant bills. They are now required to pay these huge amounts, and this must be waived,” Binny said.
The government’s rider to its promise of free water was “dhokha” (deceit), Binny said.
“They first said that people of Delhi will get 700 litres of free water per household, but never said that people will have to pay for all 701 litres if they exceed the limit even by one litre. They said that the Jan Lokpal bill would be passed within 15 days, and action would be taken against corrupt leaders. Where is the woman commando force for the city that was to ensure safety? All these issues have been ignored.”
Attacking Kejriwal directly, Binny said his government was “tanashahi” (autocracy). “There is no room for dissent and everybody is just supposed to nod along. Kisi ko bolne ka mauka hi nahi diya jaata hai. Even the process of selection of candidates for elections is pre-decided and manipulated. Kumar Vishwas campaigning in Amethi is proof of this,” he said.
The core leadership of the AAP believed in the policy of “use and throw”, Binny said. “Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas and Arvind Kejriwal used Anna Hazare and Kiran Bedi to further their ends. The media is used to enact their drama. How is it that the media turns up at every raid that someone conducts? They used my name as well, as someone who applied the mohalla sabha concept widely before the elections, and then cheated the people.”
In response, Yadav said Binny had not used the several avenues for complaint within the party, and was spreading lies. “There is hope throughout the country, and a larger movement, and people, including Binny, must understand that the individual must come second to ideals,” he said.
BINNY v AAP
Charge: Promises on power, free water, Lokpal, women’s commando force ignored; therefore, people cheated.
Response: Binny hasn’t read party manifesto. Govt has gone back on nothing that AAP promised in writing. We are only two weeks in government; BJP has taken over 10 years (in MP) to get CBI to probe Sarla Mishra murder.
Charge: Kejriwal, Sandeep Dikshit old friends; govt’s decisions at Congress’s behest.
Response: His charges seem to have been made at BJP’s behest. If he has proof, he should produce it.
Charge: Selection of candidates is manipulated.
Response: He was part of every stage of selection and screening. He should have said this before elections. He is just angry that he was not made a minister, and discouraged from applying for a Lok Sabha ticket.
Charge: No action has been taken against senior Cong leaders.
Response: Evidence-gathering cannot target any one person. If we rush, we will be accused of being vindictive.
Charge: Kejriwal is autocratic; a coterie makes decisions behind closed doors.
Response: The people Binny means are members of the PAC, one of the primary decision-making bodies. There are several platforms to air grievances.