AAP cracks deepen, Kumar losing Vishwas in party?

Refuses to apologise n Will decide his future Tuesday night

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party has once against landed in turmoil after one of its senior-most functionaries Kumar Vishwas on Tuesday said he is unwilling to apologise for his video titled “We the Nation” in which he apparently hinted at corruption within the AAP-led Delhi government.

Mr Vishwas, 46, stood outside his Ghaziabad residence, teary-eyed and remained defiant despite the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s gag order of not talking to the media. He told reporters that he “will take a decision tonight”, indicating that he may call it quits.

He said AAP lawmaker Amanatullah Khan was merely a “mask” behind those hatching conspiracies against him. Mr Khan was divested of an important party post for going public after he accused the poet-politician of hobnobbing with the BJP and the RSS. It was an attempt to placate Mr Vishwas. He, however, showed his anger by failing to turn up for the Monday meeting of AAP’s political affairs committee (PAC).

“Had Amanatullah Khan said anything like this against Arvind or Manish (Sisodia), he would have been shown the door in 10 minutes,” Mr Vishwas said, hinting that Mr Khan was a proxy for those who want to “malign” him.

Minutes after the AAP leaders’ attack on the party leadership, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia lashed out him for airing his grievances in front of the media. “Vishwas was invited to the party’s PAC meet, but he didn’t turn up. If he has a problem with the party, he should raise it in the party forum,” Mr Sisodia said.

While Mr Vishwas said that the party leadership was overlooking the sacrifices made by its workers, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia hit back saying such statements were not going to lift the morale of the party

cadre. “Volunteers understand who is he helping by airing his grievances through media,” he said.

Speculations are rife in the political circles that Mr Vishwas may join hands with the BJP, but he told reporters that he harbours no ambitions to become chief minister, deputy chief minister or AAP national convener and would continue to speak in favour of the country.

His statements on camera indicated he was under pressure to apologise for his remarks in 13-minute “We The Nation” video. A few days ago while talking to a news channel, Mr Vishwas had also said that the AAP chief should have desisted from questioning the surgical strikes carried by Indian Army on terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied in Kashmir last year.

Buckling under pressure, the AAP leadership called off the Tuesday PAC meeting fearing that Mr Kumar may speak against them and invite embarrassment for the party. After his historic victory in 2015, Mr Kejriwal and his team had thrown out founding members Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from the party fold for alleged criticism in ticket distribution. Mr Vishwas again has made similar allegations as a result of which he too could face the heat.

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