Many won’t be aware but Kapil Mishra, Aam Aadmi Party’s sacked Delhi minister, is one of the most popular figures in the party and his rise had been spectacular. The outspoken minister was often seen locking horns with public speakers at many important public forums. Mishra’s downfall in the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal led party is as stark as his sudden rise. The Indian Express reports that Mishra is not only a popular figure in his constituency in Karawal Nagar, but also the entire city due to his youth outreach. Though the portfolios held by Mishra — Water Resources, Tourism, Art, Culture and Languages and Gurdwara Elections — don’t make for a hefty task, but the Karawal Nagar MLA managed to grab the headlines due to a number of initiatives he had rolled out, the report says. From trying to root out a dominant water tanker mafia, initiating work on a river linking project, pushing through an ambitious initiative to deliver potable tap water, initiating the Yamuna aarti on the banks of the polluted river, reviving defunct language academies and starting a new academy for Garhwali and Kumaoni languages were among Mishra’s major initiatives which won him accolades. As the Water Resources minister, Kapil Mishra was made the head of a five-member fact-finding committee to probe the irregularities in Delhi’s water tanker scam. The committee found that an estimated Rs 400-crore scam took place in 2012 as the then Sheila Dikshit government allegedly practiced favoritism in hiring tankers. Mishra’s initiatives for city’s tourism, a better ‘nightlife’ in the capital, culture festivals and projects to bring in biodiversity parks also won him praise.
A vocal Kejriwal loyalist, Mishra was known for his wit and humour and effective argumentation even on Twitter. He was often seen taking a jibe at BJP big wigs and did not even spare Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the social media. From taking on Mehbooba Mufti in a conference to rushing to the Kashmir University, to taking on Anupam Kher at Jaipur literary festival, the minister made headlines very often.
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A senior AAP functionary told The Indian Express that party was impressed by Mishra’s skills and had identified great potential in him. He adds that party wanted the minister to cultivate him as one of its key leaders. “He was doing a good job as an MLA and a minister but just lost the plot at the end. Had he levelled allegations against Kejriwal’s coterie instead, like other rebels have done so far, Mishra would have also gotten away with it and won some sympathisers. He went down the wrong road,” said a party functionary to The Indian Express.