Around 11 pm on Tuesday — a day that saw AAP leader Kumar Vishwas launch a tirade against the party’s leadership — Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal arrived at his colleague’s Vasundhara residence. While their meeting was only minutes-long, Kejriwal soon emerged with Vishwas in tow. “We are going to my house for tea,” the CM told mediapersons. Earlier in the day, Vishwas had alleged there was a “conspiracy” against him and said he would take a decision “in a day”, triggering speculation about his possible exit from the party.
The AAP leadership maintained they had reached out to Vishwas and urged him to “raise his concerns regarding the party’s electoral losses within the party forum” but he “continued to make public statements” instead. Today’s developments come days after Vishwas alleged that Kejriwal was “surrounded by yes men” and “faulty EVMs were not the sole reason” behind AAP’s recent electoral losses. The issue snowballed when AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan alleged in an interview to a news channel over the weekend that Vishwas was “a BJP agent” and was trying to “usurp” power and cause a “split” within the party.
Though Khan, who drew sharp reactions from party colleagues for his remarks, resigned from the party’s Political Affairs Committee Monday evening, Vishwas refused to relent.
“Khan is just the face of this conspiracy…there are others behind this. Let me tell all the conspirators…that I will not let you do this. I have told them 10 times, told Arvind, the party and now I am telling them through you… In all my life, I will not be the CM, Deputy CM or convenor. I did not come here for this,” Vishwas said during the day.
“I will decide in a day… If the issue concerns the country, the Army, I will speak out. I am not threatening, but just saying… Jis volunteer ne apna naukri chhodkar, chana kha kar, aapke liye kaam kiya, uss par laat mat maariye (Don’t kick the volunteer who gave up his job to work for you). To all the volunteers, I will remain Kumar Vishwas, Kejriwal will remain the CM and Sisodia the Deputy CM…Main iss khel ka hissa nahi hoon,” he said.
Though Vishwas did not name the “conspirators”, his aides alleged that a section led by former Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh was trying to portray him “as an anti-party force”.
Khan’s allegations against Vishwas were echoed by party volunteers on social media, including the allegation that Vishwas was in touch with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
Amid the allegations and counter-allegations, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who accompanied Kejriwal to Vishwas’s home on Tuesday night, came out with an official statement on behalf of the party leadership: “I saw Kumar Vishwas’s statement on TV. He is my childhood friend. It has hurt me. No one has asked him to apologise for anything. He is now making it a personal fight. He is repeatedly saying this party was formed by Kejriwal, him and me, just three people. That is absolutely wrong. This party was built by thousands of volunteers across the country and abroad, those who love the country.”