Soon after winning Uttar Pradesh Assembly election last year, the Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah had made it very clear that party’s goal is to win the Lok Sabha election while Congress, in a similar bid, had recently elevated Rahul Gandhi as the party president. However, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party that added an extra angle to last Lok Sabha elections has bigger problems to worry about. After the Election Commission’s recommendations of disqualification of 20 party MLAs on charges of holding an ‘Office of Profit’, many Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs believe that the cracks within the ranks are more imminent.
One senior party leader, while talking to The Indian Express said that there are concerns that the dissidents could restart the process of attempting to poach legislators who won on AAP tickets. He said that these people might make all possible efforts to try and break the party.
The first sign of rebellion was seen in May 2017, when former Delhi minister Kapil Mishra accused CM Kejriwal of corruption. The party is having a tricky relationship with one of its founding members, Kumar Vishwas, who was accused by AAP’s Delhi convener Gopal Rai of ‘attempting to topple the Delhi government’. Other senior party leaders like Bijwasan MLA Devinder Sehrawat, Timarpur MLA Pankaj Pushkar and former environment minister and Matia Mahal MLA Asim Ahmad Khan are also believed to be at loggerheads with the party leadership.
If the party fails to get relief from courts on the disqualification, its numbers will decrease from 66 to 46, which might be 11 seats above the halfway mark in the 70-member house but, will come as a huge setback with the bypolls in Delhi fast-approaching.
“When you take the path of honesty, you are bound to face hurdles. This is natural. However, all the forces of universe come together to help you. God helps you. Because, you are not working for your own selfish goals, you are working for the country and the society. History is witness that in the end, truth prevails,” the party supremo Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter.
If the EC’s recommendations are approved by the President, bypolls will take place in 20 Assembly constituencies, including Dwarka, Chandni Chowk, Najafgarh, Jungpura, Rajender Nagar, Janakpuri, Wazirpur, Gandhi Nagar, Kalkaji, Kondli, Laxmi Nagar and Mehrauli.