Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who descended on the political scene as an anti-corruption crusader, is himself busy fending off on an almost daily basis, allegations of corruption levelled against him, by his own men.
Are they mere wild accusations against the leader or is there truth in their claims? While we wait and watch, nothing can stop Kejriwal’s public image from taking a beating even if nothing is proved against him. To try and match the allegations against him, Kejriwal called a special session of the Delhi Assembly to discuss ‘rigging’ of electronic voting machines in civic polls terming it a ‘huge expose’.
“A huge conspiracy is being hatched,” he said.
Corruption charges against Kejriwal
Sacked AAP cabinet minister Kapil Mishra has hit Kejriwal with the latest and the most unassailable allegation. Mishra who has since been suspended from the party's primary membership, has stacked the following allegations against Kejriwal:
One, Mishra said he had witnessed Kejriwal take Rs 2 crore from health minister Satyendra Jain at his residence.
I saw with my own eyes Satyendar Jain giving Rs 2 crores in cash to Arvind Kejriwal at his residence. When I asked Kejriwal, he said such things happen in politics, and it will be revealed later.Kapil Mishra
He has challenged Kejriwal to take a lie-detector test with him. He also said that he has sought an appointment with the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Rs 2 crore allegations.
Two, Mishra has submitted documents to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) that he says will prove Kejriwal had delayed the probe into a Rs 400 crore tanker scam.
I told the officials how chief minister Arvind Kejriwal deliberately delayed the report and how public money was misused.Kapil Mishra
"Also, I told them how Kejriwal along with his two men affected the tanker scam probe. The government also tried to shield Sheila Dikshit time and again. ACB will call me again for a detailed investigation.”
Three, Mishra alleged that a Rs 50-crore land deal had been arranged for the family of Kejriwal's brother-in-law, S K Bansal (Bansal passed away on Sunday night due to a stroke).
Satyendra Jain told me that he had arranged a seven-acre land deal in Chattarpur for the Bansal family. He also fudged bills up to Rs 10 crore to benefit Kejriwal’s relative.Kapil Mishra
He said he would register a CBI complaint on Tuesday (9 May).
Bansal was a contractor and had executed some work for PWD. It had been alleged that he had been paid without the work being completed, a charge was denied by the Delhi government.
Four, Mishra also claimed that during the Punjab polls, there were major irregularities in distribution of tickets, including distribution of liquor by party members. He alleged that Sanjay Singh was involved in garnering overseas funding of the party. He then claimed that he had been receiving death threats from those who are close to the chief minister ever since he made the allegations.
Five, ousted AAP MLA Asim Ahmed Khan said Kejriwal and his aides demanded Rs 5 crore from him and the party has turned into a private limited company. He said he was expelled on false charges when he tried to question the party's way of working.
"I am not putting these allegations today. I talked about this at the time of Punjab elections. They needed Rs 25 crore to buy cable network out of which Rs 5 crore was asked from me," he said.
"The rest Rs 20 crore was asked from four other MLAs.”
Kejriwal’s weakness is his chair. He does not want to leave his chair. I want to ask Kejriwal if he will resign the day Jain is sent to jail in a corruption case.Kapil Mishra
Crumbling Internal Circles
Earlier in the year:
Devinder Sehrawat, sitting MLA from the Bijwasan Constituency in South Delhi, said that people in Goa were being misguided as AAP had failed to deliver in the national capital.
"I spent one-and-a-half months in Punjab when I found out that women were being exploited in the name of being given a party ticket to contest the assembly elections," Sehrawat said, adding that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is contributing nothing to the government.
He has been suspended by the party on disciplinary grounds.
Sehrawat said that there are rumbles within the party because power was concentrated in the hands of Kejriwal and his "small coterie of supporters.”
Kejriwal is proving himself to be a worse dictator than Mayawati.
Instead of concentrating on his work, he spends too much time abusing the prime minister. It was alright at first, but now the whole thing is becoming like a school child abusing his principal.Devinder Sehrawat
Bawana MLA Ved Prakash switched sides to the BJP, alleging that reaching out to the AAP leadership had become difficult, and alleged that MLAs didn't have a say in the party and ministers didn't take their calls.
Timarpur MLA Pankaj Pushkar is that unhappy MLA. Though he has remained an AAP MLA, Pushkar does not participate in the party’s activities.
“It is true that many MLAs are unhappy. For many of us, the idea that AAP is a different party is now lost. It is the outcome of borrowing from other parties just for winnability. The present leadership is causing great damage to the idea of politics.”
Kejriwal almost lost Kumar Vishwas, a senior AAP leader, who almost walked out in a huff for being accused of plotting a coup to replace Kejriwal as party chief by Delhi legislator Amanatullah Khan. Kejriwal got his deputy Manish Sisodia to placate Vishwas, and retained him.
The Opposition Stand
BJP MLAs met lieutenant governor Anil Baijal and demanded the immediate removal of Jain from the Arvind Kejriwal government. BJP leader and leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta, who led the delegation of four MLAs, said the L-G should advise the ACB and CBI to expedite probes into allegations of corruption against the two.
Congress leader Ajay Maken said AAP has “lost its anti-Corruption plank”.
With internal rifts and two major poll defeats in Punjab and Goa adding to the conundrum, AAP is reduced to Twitter wars and deflecting regular tirades from party rebels with a Chief Minister simply saying, “Truth will triumph” in response to the Mishra fireworks. The grand ‘public welfare’ plank that voted the party twice to power in Delhi has been pushed to the bottom of the priority list.
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