NEW DELHI: A disgruntled Kumar Vishwas on Wednesday hit back at Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal after his name was not included in the list of three Rajya Sabha candidates declared by AAP.
“I was punished for speaking the truth. I accept my martyrdom,” Vishwas told reporters.
Vishwas was speaking following Aam Aadmi Party’s announcement of the three names for the Rajya Sabha seat. Among them are the prominent chartered accountant and former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India N D Gupta, businessman and social activist Sushil Gupta and Party functionary Sanjay Singh. Rajya Sabha elections are scheduled to take place on January 16.
Vishwas, who in the past had had a not-so-harmonious relationship with the senior leadership of the party, requested Kejriwal to not subject him to any further anguish.
Main janta hu aapki (Kejriwal) icchha ke bina hamare dal mein kuch hota nahi, aapse asehmat reh ke wahan jeevit reh… https://t.co/Ra0RKpI3Ei
— ANI (@ANI) 1514969187000
The rift between Vishwas and party leadership deepened when in November last year when his name did not found mention among the list of speakers at the high-level party meet.
Vishwas, who fought and lost to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, has been upset with the leadership for some time now.
A section of AAP close to Vishwas believed the rift had been caused by a “coterie” around Kejriwal who, they claimed, was against Vishwas being made the in charge of the Rajasthan unit of the party.
The Rajya Sabha seat nomination was one of the several bone of contentions, Vishwas believes he was overlooked by the top brass.
With its brute majority in the 67-member Delhi Legislative Assembly, AAP was eligible to send three people to the Upper House of Parliament. Vishwas saw himself as a strong contender for one of the seats.
“But the leadership has apprehensions about that. What if Kumar starts attacking the party after becoming a Rajya Sabha member,” asked an AAP leader considered close to Kejriwal.
Vishwas is also troubled over the top leaders’ relationship with Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan. Earlier, the party revoked the suspension of Khan, who, after AAP’s debacle in the MCD elections, had accused Vishwas of being an “agent of the RSS” and trying to split the party.
Vishwas took strong exception to that and threatened he would quit the party if action was not taken against Khan, who he described as just a “mask”.
Khan was suspended, but the Vishwas camp said he was never out of favour. The Okhla legislator was included on crucial panels of the Delhi Legislative Assembly and Kejriwal attended an iftar party organised by Khan, which was seen as a clear snub to Vishwas.
The Kejriwal camp had its share of grievances against Vishwas, whom they disparagingly referred to as a “part-time politician” because of his professional commitments as a poet.
It referred to a video in which Vishwas was seen making a veiled attack on the Delhi government over alleged corruption before the MCD polls.
“This damaged AAP’s image ahead of the crucial polls,” said a party leader, who also claimed that Vishwas was not free to campaign for the MCD poll campaign.
There was apprehension that he was being “instigated” by somebody outside the party, the leader said.
An AAP member close to Kejriwal also referred to fears that a “coup” was being planned at the behest of sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra.
“After the MCD poll defeat, some leaders and MLAs said Vishwas should lead the party. But he did not trash the idea. This added to the mistrust that followed the video episode,” he said.
(With PTI inputs) Source : timesofindia