The AAP has revoked the suspension of Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan, three days before the party’s annual national council meeting, inviting a stinging backlash from its founder member Kumar Vishwas. The move is expected to further alienate Vishwas within the party. Khan’s suspension in May had capped a bitter spat within the party following a string of poll upsets. The MLA had called Vishwas an “agent of the BJP” while accusing him of plotting to split the AAP.
The party had formed a three-member committee comprising Ashutosh, Atishi Marlena and Pankaj Gupta to look into Khan’s issue. However, it was largely seen as an exercise to mollify Vishwas and prevent a split. “Ashutosh called me yesterday and told me that the party has decided to revoke the suspension. I think my services are required in the upcoming polls in Gujarat,” Khan said. However, Vishwas lashed out at the decision, suggesting that the party was merely trying to provoke him into reacting so that he can be thrown out in the guise of disciplinary action.
“But I will not let that happen. Amanatullah is merely a mask. Such masks are used to sideline people politically, which has been done before,” Vishwas said, refusing to name the face or faces behind the mask. He also claimed that unlike the previous years, his name does not figure in the list of speakers at the November 2 meeting according to the draft of the agenda circulated by the party.
Calls to Ashutosh, Marlena did not elicit any response. Khan, a member of the all powerful Political Affairs Committee of the AAP, and a prominent Muslim face of the party was never out of the good books of the party leadership. Even after his suspension, Khan found himself in crucial house panels of the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Kejriwal also visited Khan during iftar, sending Vishwas a message.