Following MCD polls drubbing, AAP differences out in the open

Following MCD polls drubbing, AAP differences out in the open

The Delhi civic poll drubbing is unveiling the differences among AAP leaders with founder-member Kumar Vishwas on Friday mincing no words in faulting the way the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is functioning.

One of the immediate triggers was the way Delhi Minister Gopal Rai, who was once removed from Transport Ministry citing health issues, was given charge of Delhi following the resignation of Dilip Pandey and Ashish Talwar who were handling party affairs in the capital.

It is to be seen whether outbursts of Vishwas, who demanded “widespread changes” in the party, would trigger more leaders, especially second-rung ones, to speak up against the leadership.

Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann has already found fault with AAP's Punjab electoral strategy. Besides Talwar and Pandey, Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak who handled Punjab polls have also resigned. All the four are considered close to Kejriwal.

Hours after the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), AAP's highest decision-making body, concluded its stock taking meeting late Thursday, the daggers were drawn with the poet-turned-politician questioning the way tickets were distributed in civic polls as well as earlier Assembly polls.

“Many decisions were taken behind closed doors,” a TV channel quoted Vishwas, a member of the PAC, as saying.

His comments on Rai also exposed the deep mistrust among top leaders. While describing Rai as a “capable” leader, Vishwas did not hide that the decision was thrust upon the PAC by Kejriwal. “Arvind might have discussed it with MLAs earlier. The PAC was informed about the decision. Some discussions happened in PAC. He is a capable leader. It is not like that there was only Rai who is capable. There are some other capable people also,” he said.

Like his party colleagues Minister Kapil Mishra and MLA Alka Lamba, Vishwas also did not echo the EVM malfunction theory for the debacle. He also tweeted news reports and a TV interview expressing his displeasure. Lamba also retweeted some of his tweets and said, “Arvind, Manish, Kumar are AAP's future and strength. Transparency will generate trust among cadre.”

Making public his displeasure over the way Kejriwal and his aides run the party, he said, “this is our sixth defeat because we were disconnected with volunteers. EVMs should not be blamed solely. We lost because people did not vote for us.” He also criticised Kejriwal for his stand on surgical strikes as well as his penchant for attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Vishwas said the atmosphere of lack of consultation and trust towards cadre should end and give way to transparency in decision-making.

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