Days after being disqualified as an MLA under the anti-defection law, former AAP government minister Kapil Mishra has said he will formally join the BJP Saturday, ending a long spell when he championed various causes as a “sympathiser” of the party.
Mishra said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision drew him to the BJP and he will strive towards ending the “politics of negativity” in Delhi.
Incidentally, as an AAP MLA, Mishra was one of the most vocal critics of Modi and BJP’s Amit Shah. His remark terming the PM an “ISI agent” after the attack on the Pathankot airbase had triggered a huge controversy. The Indian government had at the time allowed an ISI team to inspect the base.
“I am joining the BJP to work for Modi ji and his vision for the nation. I strongly believe that the time has come to end negativity in Delhi, and Delhi should also walk with Modi. Now, I will reach out to various AAP volunteers and Anna Movement activists and will make all of them join the BJP in the coming days,” Mishra told The Indian Express.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga said Mishra will be joining the party at 11 am on Saturday.
On August 2, Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had issued an order disqualifying Mishra from the House following proceedings against him on a petition filed by AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj.
Bhardwaj’s contention was that the former Karawal Nagar MLA campaigned for the BJP and PM Modi ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The charges were found valid by the Speaker.
However, Mishra had moved the Delhi High Court against the disqualification. Asked about the legal challenge mounted by him, Mishra said: “I will file a counter affidavit in court in the next 10 days which will make my stand clear.” The hearing in the case will come up on September 4.
Once considered a Kejriwal loyalist, Mishra had a meteoric rise in the AAP ranks and was also assigned key ministerial portfolios. He handled Law, Tourism and Water departments between 2015 and May 2017, when he was dropped on charges of “non-performance”.
Following his removal, Mishra had alleged that he “witnessed first-hand” exchange of cash between Kejriwal and PWD Minister Satyendar Jain at the CM’s official residence.
This prompted the party to suspend him. After that, Mishra refashioned his stand on various issues, teamed up with Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta and SAD MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa, and often targeted the AAP leadership.
“My disqualification case is basically about power of speakers and its limitations. Politically I have time, and I openly declare that Delhi should have a pro-Modi government,” he said.
Bhardwaj, the AAP chief spokesperson, said: “Through his conduct, he had already established that he is with the BJP…”