Kapil Mishra, who was sacked from the post of Delhi Water Minister yesterday, was one of the most active faces of the AAP government, with a penchant for controversial statements. Mishra (36), who had volunteered for the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement, quickly grew through the ranks and emerged as one of the most promising young turks of the Aam Aadmi Party, with a pronounced right-wing ideological tilt.
Mishra represents the Karawal Nagar constituency, a seat he had won by over 40,000 votes in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls. Incidentally, his mother Annapurna Mishra is a known face in the Delhi BJP circles.
Mishra was inducted as a minister into the seven-member AAP cabinet in February, 2015. He was soon given the additional charge of the Law Department, only to be relieved of the portfolio within a couple of months.
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Across his tenure as a minister, Mishra had repeatedly raked up the issue of an alleged Rs 400-crore water tanker scam, which he claimed involved former Congress chief minister Sheila Dikshit and even “a few people in the AAP government”.
Kejriwal had constituted a fact-finding committee to probe the allegations in June, 2015. The report of the committee was submitted to the Delhi government in August, 2015, recommending an FIR against Dikshit.
The then Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had forwarded the report to the Anti-Corruption Branch which, in turn, had lodged FIRs against both Dikshit and Mishra. Even on the day of his sacking, Mishra had written to ACB chief MK Meena, claiming that there were certain “new facts” related to the “scam”, which he would like to share with him.
Tech-savvy and media friendly, Mishra had fired salvos at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on numerous occasions. He had courted controversy by terming the prime minister as an “ISI agent” after last year’s Pathankot terror attack.
The fissures between Mishra and the AAP leadership started developing in the aftermath of the party’s recent string of poll defeats. Mishra had sided with Kumar Vishwas, distancing himself from Kejriwal’s allegation of EVM manipulation in the elections.