AAP sacks rebel Kumar Vishwas as party’s Rajasthan in-charge, appoints Deepak Bajpai as replacement

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New Delhi | Updated: April 11, 2018 2:01:00 PM

Deepak Bajpai will be new in charge of Aam Aadmi Party's Rajasthan unit. Kumar Vishwas was appointed as the Rajasthan unit in charge in May 2017.

Aam Aadmi Party, Kumar Vishwas, AAP RajasthanAam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas

The crisis within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today escalated with the party removing leader Kumar Vishwas as the party’s Rajasthan unit in charge. He has been replaced by Deepak Bajpai. Vishwas was appointed as the Rajasthan unit in charge in May 2017.

Vishwas has been at loggerheads with the party leadership for the last one year. Recently, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had snubbed him while deciding three names for the Rajya Sabha from Delhi quota. Kumar had at that time openly expressed his dissent with the party bigwigs. More recently, he had expressed unhappiness over Kejriwal’s decision to apologise to several opposition party leaders including Arun Jaitley in defamation cases.

Today’s development assumes significance amid reports in media suggesting that Vishwas was not taking active interest in the party affairs in the state which will go to polls later this year.

Addressing the media, AAP leader Ashutosh said that Deepak Bajpai has been asked to chalk out the strategy for the party and also to establish connections with party works on the ground and prepare a list of candidates. He said that the party will contest the upcoming assembly polls on its own and lashed out at the BJP government over rampant corruption and rising power tariffs. He claimed that people in Rajasthan are looking towards AAP as an alternative to the BJP and Congress.

Vishwas’s gripe with Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP leadership is not new and has been simmering for sometime. The AAP had in last May appointed him as Rajasthan’s in charge to strengthen the party ahead of the Assembly polls. However, that decision too was seen as a bid to keep him away from the scheme of things within the core leadership of the party. The move came following his war of words with Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan who had accused him of working for the BJP and RSS. The party had also suspended Khan to pacify Vishwas but was accomodated soon after.

In the past, Vishwas has openly questioned the party’s leadership over a host of issues, and even questioned the party’s corrosion on the anti-corruption plank that saw it rise to power. Vishwas had also castigated Kejriwal for questioning the veracity of surgical strikes in 2016.

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