Party leadership wants to avoid bloodshed before 2019 general polls.
New Delhi: After being denied a seat in Parliament, senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas finds that he is being isolated in the party, with its leadership turning a deaf ear to his plans for an electoral campaign in Rajasthan.
A founder member of the Aam Aadmi Party, Mr Vishwas, party in-charge for Rajasthan, had stopped campaigning in the state due to “lack of support” from the party leadership.
There was also no response from the leadership to Mr Vishwas’s demand that a bank account be opened to deposit donation money for the polls and for MLAs to campaign in the state, he said.
“Why will people trust Kumar bhai if the top leadership doesn’t support him,” the member asked.
The incidents reflect the the leader’s growing isolation, who is a part of the party’s all-powerful Political Affairs Committee and an AAP spokesperson, but largely out of the decision-making process.
Last year, the AAP had put him in charge of the state, which goes to the polls later this year. The camp led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal no longer trusts Mr Vishwas, said a leader close to the AAP chief, alleging that Mr Vishwas had sought to engineer a “coup” in AAP.
“He has indulged in acts, which can only be dubbed anti-party. He had got far more leeway because of being a senior founder member. But it may not be the case any more,” the AAP leader added.
He shared a close bond once with Mr Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia. But what riled the top brass was Mr Vishwas’s criticism of the leadership over its poor performance in Punjab.
The cold war intensified after he attacked the AAP government in Delhi over corruption ahead of MCD polls last year. This led to AAP being trounced in the polls.
Mr Vishwas had nearly quit the party after Okhla MLA A. Khan called him a BJP-RSS agent, but was persuaded to stay back after Mr Khan was suspended from AAP.
The party also didn’t consider Mr Vishwas, known for his oratorical skills, for a Rajya Sabha seat. But the party is keeping an eye on Mr Vishwas to see what his next move would be.
Sources close to Mr Vishwas said he wouldn’t quit the party, but wait for the leadership to take action against him. At a function to mark the AAP’s fifth anniversary last year, Mr Vishwas likened himself to Abhimanyu, the son of Arjun in the Mahabharat, saying that he would be victorious even in death.