With just a few weeks left for the MCD elections in Delhi, voices of discontent against Aam Admi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal have started emerging from within.
With just a few weeks left for the MCD elections in Delhi, voices of discontent against Aam Admi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal have started emerging from within. In the last one week, at least two AAP leaders have already jumped the camp and joined other parties. On March 27, AAP MLA from Bawana, Ved Parkash, joined the BJP. Parkash even claimed that around 35 AAP legislators may desert the AAP. Parkash also said he was “disillusioned” with the functioning of Kejriwal’s party, even as he had joined it hoping for a change.
On Thursday, Seema Kaushik, vice-president, of AAP women’s wing, joined the Congress. Justifying her decision, Kaushik alleged that committed AAP memebers were suffering due to corruption by top leaders of the party. On the same day, another AAP MLA from Janakpuri, Rajesh Rishi, surprised many by indirectly taking a dig on AAP through a tweet. “Majhdhaar mein naiyya dole toh manjhi paar lagaye, Manjhi jo nao duboye usey kaun bachaye (If the boat rocks midstream, the rafter takes it ashore. If the rafter sinks the boat who can save it).”
Explaining why he was dissenting against AAP, Rishi told The Indian Express, “The message is self-explanatory. Sometimes, the emperor is surrounded by sycophants but it is for the emperor to view things clearly. Our party is sinking but the MLAs go unheard. No one takes our calls. Kumar Vishwas is the only person in the party who has the gumption to stand up for the truth. I hope my message will be conveyed now.” Rishi later deleted the tweet, saying he was not quitting AAP.
Another AAP MLA from Bijwasan Colonel Devinder Sehrawat has openly attacked Kejriwal, saying the latter is “proving to be a worst dictator than BSP chief Mayawati.” While talking to The Huffington Post, Sehrawat alleged that local AAP leaders are not allowed to grow. This makes the MLAs look bad in front of the people. Like Parkash, Sehrawat claimed that several AAP leaders are already meeting other parties and an implosion is brewing within AAP. All of this because the entire power is concentrated in the hands of Kejriwal and a select group of top leaders, he alleged.
This is not the first time when voices against AAP leadership have emerged from within the party. But this time, the timing of dissent is really critical. AAP’s performance in recently concluded Punjab and Goa Assembly elections wasn’t up to the mark. The party did manage to save face in Punjab by winning 20 seats out of 117. Before the polls, the party was apparently overconfident of winning Punjab.
It is possible that the dissenting voices are emerging from within the AAP camp because politicians tend to look for greener pastures. But then the allegations against Kejriwal also cannot be overlooked. It is high time, Kejriwal should correct AAP affairs before more trouble hits the party. The upcoming MCD elections on April 23 may be critical for the survival of AAP.