In a clear snub to senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today attended an iftar party, which was primarily organised by the party’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan. Khan, who was suspended from the party to pacify Vishwas, ushered Kejriwal to the event, held on the lawns of the Jamia Milia Islamia University, which falls under the Okhla constituency that the former represents. Abdul Wajid Khan, party’s councillor from ward no 102 of the South MCD was also present at the event, along with party supporters. The event was organised by the AAP’s Okhla unit. “Fundamentalist forces are rearing their heads in the country. I hope they are defeated and people of all communities live in peace and amity,” Kejriwal said in an address to the gathering.
Both, Kejriwal and Khan left the venue in the same car, parrying questions by the media on whether it should be considered a signal to Vishwas, who has publicly differed with the AAP leadership over several issues in the recent months. In what is being seen as the leadership’s resolve to further corner Vishwas, newly-appointed AAP treasurer Deepak Bajpai took a dig at the poet-turned-politician, suggesting that he had stayed in a “beach-view five star hotel in Goa” during the state polls there.
“Stop this pretence. Stop defaming the party volunteers and look within and answer the questions,” Bajpai tweeted. The differences had come to the fore when Vishwas had refused to toe the party’s official line that “manipulation” of electronic voting machines was the prime reason behind its recent string of electoral defeats. Khan had dubbed Vishwas an “RSS-BJP agent” and had accused him of “plotting a coup in the AAP”, following which the poet-turned-politician had threatened to quit the party if no action was taken against Khan.
As things threatened to spiral out of control, the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) had suspended Khan. Yesterday, former AAP Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey had also questioned Vishwas, who is also the party’s Rajasthan in-charge, for attacking the Congress but remaining “silent” on the BJP.