Dissidence rocks Aam Aadmi Party

MLA Binny calls CM Kejriwal liar

Dissidence rocks Aam Aadmi Party

Within three weeks of forming its government in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday faced internal dissidence with party MLA Vinod Kumar Binny raising a banner of revolt against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Binny, who had expressed his displeasure over not getting a cabinet berth last month, said Kejriwal was the “biggest liar” and alleged that the party was deviating from its ethical path and party leaders were going back on their promises. Binny, the legislator from the Laxmi Nagar assembly segment, said he would hold a press conference on Thursday to reveal details of his allegations.

The charges by Binny assumed serious proportions as Kejriwal immediately hit back at him. The chief minister said he was not surprised about it as Binny had demanded a post in his cabinet last month and now he was seeking a party ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections. Kejriwal said the party had told him that no sitting MLA would be considered for the Lok Sabha ticket.Kejriwal’s assertions drew immediate counter from Binny. Refuting the chief minister’s contention, Binny said Kejriwal was the “biggest liar.”

“If he has said so then he is one of the biggest liars. He has to swear by god publicly for this statement. I never demanded a post in the cabinet and neither had I demanded any ticket for the Lok Sabha,” he said.

Asked whether he was planning to quit the party, Binny said: “The party does not belong to one person. I was with the party from the time when no one was there. If my demands are not met, I will go on a hunger strike against the party.”

Binny, a former Congressman, was joined by another local leader in criticising the party leadership. Tina Sharma, who joined the party from the BJP, criticised the party for spending time and energy on formulating its manifesto for the 2014 parliamentary elections when it was yet to deliver on the 2013 manifesto. Sources say the party is considering disciplinary action against Binny. Kejriwal said he would respond after Binny’s press conference.

Controversial party leader Kumar Vishwas opened another front of controversy during the day. Vishwas, who has declared his intention to fight from Rahul Gandhi’s Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, hit back at a recently joined party member and danseuse-turned-activist Mallika Sarabhai, who had questioned him on his views about Narendra Modi and minorities and women.

Vishwas said he was not answerable to each and everyone who joins the AAP. He referred to his participation in an anti-rape agitation in Delhi and the anti-coal scam movement. He asked Sarabhai where she was during those struggles.

Known for her views on rights of minorities and women, Sarabhai had reacted sharply on some videos of Vishwas’s stage shows on YouTube. She wanted him to clarify his position about his praise for Modi during a poetry recital programme. Vishwas had compared Modi with Lord Shiva who cleaned the world of poison. 

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