Amidst rumours of a split within the Aam Aadmi Party that erupted after the MCD elections 2017, AAP leader and Hindi poet Kumar Vishwas today broke down on camera, saying he won’t apologise to anyone for the video in which he had apparently attacked AAP convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for the latter’s past stand on corruption within the party.
Amidst rumours of internal turmoil in AAP, an emotional Vishwas, breaking down on camera while talking to reporters in New Delhi surprised many and also hinted a lot about the troubles that have hit the party after MCD elections.
Last month, Vishwas had released a 13-minute video titled ‘We The Nation’ in which the popular AAP leader had hinted at corruption within AAP-led Delhi government. The video released after the AAP’s poor performance in recently-concluded MCD elections, Vishwas had indirectly told Kejriwal, “If you are voted on the plank of anti-corruption, and then your own people are found to be indulging in corruption and you remain silent, people will question you.”
Watch Kumar Vishwas attacks Arvind Kejriwal, Narendra Modi
Kumar had also appealed to people to move beyond personality-centric politics that puts much of its focus on top leaders like Kejriwal, PM Narendra Modi or Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Attacking Modi, Kumar had commented on the Maoist attack on CRPF Jawans in Sukma, Chhattisgarh. “…If you are voted on the plank of nationalism and then your nation’s sons are attacked, you will be questioned,” the AAP leader had said.
Following the release of Kumar’s video, rumours of a brewing division within AAP started doing the rounds. One AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan even accused Vishwas of working at the behest of BJP to create a rift in the AAP.
कुमार मेरा छोटा भाई है। कुछ लोग हमारे बीच दरार दिखा रहे हैं,ऐसे लोग पार्टी के दुश्मन हैं !वो बाज़ आयें। हमें कोई अलग नहीं कर सकता
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 30, 2017
Khan had alleged that Vishwas asked some AAP MLAs to join the BJP with the offer of Rs 30 crore each, according to IANS. Khan, who is an MLA from Okhla, had also circulated a message on WhatsApp alleging Vishwas had called some AAP MLAs to his home with the offer. “Kumar Vishwas called some MLAs and asked them that he should be made the party convenor,” the Whatsapp message circulated by Khan said, adding, Vishwas also made a “second offer” to MLAs “to join the BJP which was ready to pay Rs 30 crore to each one of them.”
As controversies struck AAP, party chief Kejriwal took to Twitter on Sunday to clarify that there was no rift between him and Vishwas.
“Kumar (Vishwas) is my younger brother. A few people are trying to show a rift between use, such people are enemies of the party (AAP). They should stop doing that. Nobody can separate us,” the Delhi CM tweeted. On Monday, AAP’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan reportedly submitted his resignation to Kejriwal. It appeared that the brewing storm in AAP may have halted for the time being.
However, Vishwas’ statements on camera today indicated he was under pressure to apologise for his remarks in ‘We The Nation’ video.
A few days ago while talking to a news channel, Vishwas had also said that Kejriwal should not have questioned the surgical strikes carried by Indian Army on terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied in Kashmir last year.
Talking about his video with reporters on Tuesday, Kumar said he would never make any statements that compromise or demeans the valor of Indian. Vishwas also said that he would always talk about the interests of Indian soldiers and about Kashmir being a part of India.
While Kumar clarified that he is not interested in becoming president of any party of the chief minister, he advised Kejriwal to not play with the sentiments of AAP workers who left everything to build the party. The AAP leader said there was a conspiracy to oust him from the party but he would always support AAP.
Vishwas further said he may take a big decision tonight.
Meanwhile, senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia attempted damage control, advising Vishwas not to make the fight personal. While talking to reporters, Sisodia said Kumar should have raised his concerns in party’s internal meet, instead of going public.