New Delhi, April 30: Amid speculations of irreconcilable rift within the senior leadership of AAP, party MLA Amanatullah Khan made startling claims on Sunday, accusing Kumar Vishwas of plotting to dislodge the party. Amanatullah, who is also a member of AAP’s political affairs committee, reportedly shared a contentious post on social media, accusing Vishwas of conspiring to usurp the chief ministerial post.
Hours after Amanatullah made the charge, Kejriwal took to Twitter to issue a clarification. Dismissing the claims of rift within the party, Kejriwal said, “Vishwas is my younger brother. There are some people who want to create a rift between us. I am warning such people. They are the enemies of the party.” Here are 10 major updates on the controversy:
- According to Amanatullah, Vishwas is looking for at least 34 AAP MLAs who could switch allegiance towards him. He has tasked 4 AAP MLAs, including a state cabinet minister for persuading the party legislators.
- AAP had won 67 seats in Delhi assembly. Due to defections, suspensions and disqualifications, the party’s electoral strength has been reduced to 61.
- Amanatullah further claims that Vishwas is ready with an alternative plan. If his attempt to takeover AAP with support of at least 34 MLAs gets thwarted, he would approach the BJP, the Okhla MLA said. BJP is ready to offer Rs 30 crore for each AAP turncoat, Amanatullah adds.
- The allegations of the senior Amanatullah comes in the backdrop of BJP leader Tajinder Bagga’s claim of Vishwas planning to stage a coup within AAP. “Heard 34 AAP MLAs want to see Dr Kumar Vishwas as Delhi CM. Interesting,” he said on Saturday.
- The rumours were dismissed by state cabinet minister Kapil Mishra, calling it baseless. There is no question of Kejriwal leaving the post of party convener. The reports about rift between him and Vishwas are baseless. Amanatullah should apologise for his statement,” he was quoted as saying by HT.
- Vishwas, who is the convenor of AAP Overseas Committee, was actively campaigning for the party in Punjab and Goa assembly elections. His veiled dissent came to light after the party’s dismal performance in both the state.
- After nearly a month of muted reaction, Vishwas broke his silence following the rout of AAP in MCD elections. Sending indications of a major rift within AAP, Vishwas said he is not averse to making structural changes within AAP, which goes up right to the top leadership level.
- Criticising the functioning of AAP, Vishwas said, Kejriwal has surrounded himself with “yes men” who are preventing him to understand the sentiment of the party’s grassroot workers and supporters. To cite an instance, Vishwas said, “No common man appreciated Kejriwal for asking proofs for the surgical strike carried out against Pakistan.”
- Rumours of Vishwas breaking away from AAP had also propped up in the run-up to Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Despite being associated with Kejriwal since the India Against Corruption agitation, his loyalty to the AAP supremo remains wavering. According to a senior Delhi-based party volunteer, “Kejriwal often remains on left-off-centre, whereas, Vishwas is ideologically inclined towards the right”.