Kumar Vishwas v/s AAP: Discusses AAP 2.0 with ousted leaders
AAP leader, Kumar Vishwas once again made statements suggesting that all wasn't well between him and the party. At a volunteer meet, he suggested that AAP should reach out to ousted leaders, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav; AAP should also apologize, if required. He also re-iterated that AAP was moving away from its core values. However, party leaders close to Arvind Kejriwal denied this.
Which leaders had left AAP and why?
AAP founding members Yadav and Bhushan were sacked in April'15 for anti-party activities; they raised objections at Kejriwal's leadership style, which they claimed inspired a cult-based following. Mayank Gandhi, national executive member of AAP, had opposed their dropping from AAP's Political Affairs Committee. Gandhi later quit the party. Dharamvira Gandhi, AAP MLA from Patiala, was also suspended for alleged anti-party activities.
What did Kumar Vishwas have to say?
Vishwas is reportedly unhappy with the present coterie around Kejriwal. He stated they are preparing a list of people ousted from AAP like Mayank Gandhi, Bhushan and Yadav among others. He further claimed that dialogue between these leaders and AAP's volunteers was ongoing. He said this will be hailed as "AAP version two," prioritizing volunteers, "who will act as an anti-virus within the party."
What were the reactions to this claim?
However, Vishwas's claims were refuted by AAP. "No discussion of this kind took place. No one has reached out to them; neither have they reached out to us. This could be Vishwas's personal opinion." Swaraj India, Yadav and Bhushan's political party, dismissed Vishwas's claims saying "Instead of appealing others to come back, they (AAP led by Kejriwal) should come back on the right path."
What were Vishwas's other allegations against the party?
Poet-turned-politician Vishwas has been vocal about his disagreements with AAP. Speaking at the party's fifth anniversary, Vishwas declared that AAP needed "course correction" as it had moved away from its core principles. Referring to his tiff with Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan, Vishwas said though Khan made "baseless allegations against me, he was reinstated in the party overnight." Thus, he lamented the party's state.
Meanwhile, no senior AAP leader will campaign for Gujarat elections
Meanwhile, senior leaders Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and Vishwas will not be campaigning for the Gujarat elections, where the party is contesting 29 of 182 seats. Earlier this year, AAP leaders had made several trips to Gujarat slamming the government over the Patidar quota agitation and Dalit unrest. However, their morale was hit after AAP performed badly in Punjab and Goa.