Having tried its best to position itself as an alternative to mainstream parties like the Congress and the BJP, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is in the news for all the wrong reasons these days. The party has always accused the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for most its woes in the past. However, this time, it is facing a crisis from within, not just for the wrong reasons, but at the wrong time as well.
While AAP was already rocked by a sex scandal involving its MLA and Delhi Cabinet Minister Sandeep Kumar, another ‘sex bomb’ hit it when one of its own MLA yesterday alleged that some senior party leaders were seeking sex from women in return for tickets for Punjab elections.
AAP MLA from Bijwasan, Col Devinder Sehrawat, has written a letter to Kejriwal claiming he had received “disturbing reports” of women being “exploited” in Punjab with promises of party tickets for elections in the state. Sehrawat told the Indian Express that his information was “generic” and he was “perturbed by it.” He said, “This is a sensitive matter and it is about things that are exploitative in nature. In such a scenario, it is not possible to get evidence right away. But I was alarmed and I have done my duty by pointing it out, whether or not anybody finds it palatable.”
The MLA has also written to Anna Hazare claiming that the party is facing instances of misconduct and corruption. In response, AAP leader Sanjay Singh has decided to file a defamation suit against Sehrawat. Not only this, he told reporters that the claims of Sehrawat were a conspiracy designed by SAD-BJP combine in Punjab. Singh also denied all charged against the party.
In the Sandeep Kumar case, while CM Kejriwal publicly criticised the incident and suspended the former from the party, another leader, Ashutosh, appeared to be unhappy with the decision. The latter blamed the media, society and other parties, not AAP which took the decision to suspend Kumar. “AAP is the biggest hope of the country. Sandeep has betrayed that hope,” Kejriwal had said.
Ashutosh sought to give a different narrative to the sex tape incident in which Kumar was reportedly seen in a compromising position with two women. Instead of condemning it, Ashutosh defended Kumar saying it was a consensual act between adults and it shouldn’t have been highlighted so much by the media, and even the minister shouldn’t have been sacked. In a blog post, Ashutosh went on to draw parallels of Kumar’s sex video with the “affairs” of great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
For the record, one of the women who appeared in the rape accused Kumar of raping her. The former minister was arrested and sent to three-day police remand by the Tis Hazari court over the rape charged.
From being a party for the ‘change’, AAP is turning out to be a party with leaders of questionable characters. All of this doesn’t augur well for the future of the party. AAP doesn’t want to take the blame on itself. Who is to be blamed?