Will Kapil Mishra expose be end of Aam Aadmi Party? A timeline of AAP crisis

07 May 2017, 01:41 PM
Will Kapil Mishra expose be end of Aam Aadmi Party? A timeline of AAP crisis (File Photo. Twitter Image)
Will Kapil Mishra expose be end of Aam Aadmi Party? A timeline of AAP crisis (File Photo. Twitter Image)

Kapil Mishra, Kumar Vishwas, Amanatullah Khan, Ved Prakash, Devendra Sehrawat, Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan - list of Arvind Kejriwal's nemesis within Aam Adami Party has come to a breaking point. 

According to people close to the party sources, there is little doubt in the minds of some of the party leaders that the AAP could split in the months to come and Kejriwal could lose the chief ministerial post. 

With Kapil Mishra threatening to expose some Big Names in Rs 400 crore water tanker scam, the threat is now looming larger than ever over the very existence of the party. 

Is it time for Kejriwal to quit as either party chief or Delhi chief minister to remain relevant in the Indian political scene in the months and years to come? 

Timeline of AAP crisis: 

#Assembly election debacle 

The difficult time of AAP started after the poll debacle in Punjab and Goa assembly elections. Party's performance in both states despite intensive campaigning and planning by party chief Kejriwal was a severe blow to AAP's ambitions of going nationwide. 

Most of AAP’s 20 legislators in Punjab have little love for the Delhi chief minister. Kejriwal’s two appointees for Punjab, Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak, quit after the loss in the Punjab Assembly polls. There were several ignominious allegations against the duo.

Read | Online petition demands resignation of AAP's Punjab election campaign managers

AAP's NRI Overseas Team, which is the biggest source of funding for the party, has also expressed unhappiness over the way decisions are made within party with regards to Punjab.

"People of Punjab and Overseas Punjabis would like to see, all future Punjab related meetings should be held in Punjab.
We had experience in the past that none of our requests or letters got any response from your team. We request you take this note seriously," they wrote in a letter to AAP core team on Sunday. 

#MCD Polls loss

The Civic poll loss and subsequent defeat in Rajouri Garden Lok Sabha spelt doom for Aam Adami Party, which is still fighting to make its own space in the national political arena. The AAP vote share saw a precipitous decline. The party received 26.23 per cent of the votes cast. This is half of the 54.30 per cent that AAP bagged in the 2015 Assembly polls in Delhi when it won 67 of the 70 Assembly seats.

Opposition parties, especially BJP, termed AAP's loss as the doom of the party. 

Opinion | Arvind Kejriwal's poll debacle: Why Delhi CM lost MCD elections? Time for AAP to introspect

#Kumar Vishvas - Amanatullah Khan tussle 

The rift between Kumar Vishvas and Arvind Kejriwal winded after the former differed with Delhi CM on the reasons of AAP's loss in MCD elections. While Kejriwal blamed EVM tampering, Vishwas alleged that Kejriwal's stand on surgical strike became the reason of loss. 

The controversy aggravated when AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan alleged that Kumar Vishvas had his eyes on the post of party chief. 

Following the statements, Kejriwal and Sisodia tried to pacify situation through a series of midnight meetings and house visits. However, many of the legislators have backed Kumar Vishwas through the debacle. 

Read | Rift in AAP: Arvind Kejriwal says he will get Kumar Vishwas convinced over Amanatullah Khan controversy

#Kapil Mishra expose on AAP's involvement in water tanker scam

Nailing the final coffin the public image of 'corruption-free' party, party MLA and Kumar Vishvas confidant Kapil Mishra on Saturday said that he will reveal big names in the water tanker scam on Sunday. 

Mishra was removed by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from the cabinet as Delhi water minister after the announcement of expose by him. 

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced Kapil Mishra’s removal citing mismanagement in water distribution. 

Read | AAP in fresh crisis: Delhi CM Kejriwal accepted Rs 2 crore from Satyendra Jain, alleges Kapil Mishra; Sisodia rubbishes charges

What's next for Arvind Kejriwal 

A large number of party legislators in Delhi are angry at Arvind Kejriwal. AAP legislators and common workers believe Kejriwal has betrayed the spirit of the AAP movement. They accuse Kejriwal, along with his coterie of men, of having centralised decision making, cutting himself off from workers and generally having acted in a high-handed manner.

Arvind Kejriwal, who holds dual posts of Delhi chief minister and AAP chief, has spent the majority of the last two years sidelining the duties of CM and focussing his energies on state assembly elections in Punjab and Goa.  

While the party achieved next to nothing in state elections, it further lost voter base in Delhi. The party despite extensive focus failed to highlight its achievements and BJP's failures in MCD elections. 

If Kejriwal wants to save his party he may have to give up one of the posts and focus his energies on rebuilding his image as a good administrator.

This is the compromise formula that senior leaders have suggested to Kejriwal. As part of the formula, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia could take Kejriwal’s place while the latter focuses on rebuilding the party and his image.

In depth | Whither AAP or Weather the Storm: Why Arvind Kejriwal's party has more than a fair chance of retaining its hold on Delhi

First Published: Sunday, May 07, 2017 11:29 AM
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