Tensions in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) continued today with party leader Dilip Pandey questioning colleague and Rajasthan in-charge Kumar Vishwas for attacking the Congress but remaining silent on state Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of the BJP. “Brother, you launch fervent attacks on the Congress but (you) say that you will not attack Vasundhara (Raje). Why?” Pandey said in a tweet. He was referring to a news report on Vishwas attacking former Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit for his comments against Army chief Bipin Rawat. Pandey’s tweet came a day after Vishwas said in a TV interview that he would attack the BJP government in Rajasthan, but not make any comments on her personal life.
Referring to the war of words between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Arvind Kejriwal, Vishwas said the country had seen the results of negative politics over the last three years. While AAP trounced BJP in the 2015 Delhi assembly elections, BJP defeated AAP in the recently held civic body polls. Pandey, who recently quit as AAP’s Delhi unit convener after the party’s defeat in the MCD polls, tried to downplay his tweet and said his comment should not be seen out of context. “There is confusion in the minds of volunteers that he does not attack the BJP and Raje, but only targets the Congress.
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“So I raised this question. Kumar (bhai) is a great communicator and I am sure he will understand this. However, this comment should not be taken out of the context,” Pandey said. The comments reflect the simmering tensions in the party. Last week, Vishwas said in an address to party members in Rajsthan that they should go back to the basics while preparing for the state elections due next year. This was also a message that the party had strayed away from its core philosophy while contesting elections in Punjab and Goa, an attack on Kejriwal’s “coterie”. Vishwas, who was appointed the AAP’s Rajasthan in-charge last month, said there would be minimum interference from Delhi leaders and the state unit would be given full freedom to take their own decisions while preparing for the polls.
Vishwas, who was appointed the AAP’s Rajasthan in-charge last month, said there would be minimum interference from Delhi leaders and the state unit would be given full freedom to take their own decisions while preparing for the polls. This has also not gone down well with a section of party leaders. Over the last two months, Vishwas has differed with the party’s leadership for blaming electronic voting machines alone for its poor performance in Punjab and Goa and defeat in the Delhi civic polls.
AAP’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan had accused Vishwas of being an “RSS-BJP agent” who was “plotting a coup” in the party. Following this, he threatened to quit the party if no action was taken against Khan, who was subsequently suspended from the party. He also accused the “coterie” around Kejriwal for hatching a conspiracy against him and using Khan as a “pawn” against him.