Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has described as a must-watch and something that “shakes one deeply” a video put out by Aam Aadmi Party colleague Kumar Vishwas, who takes a swipe at the his own government over the issue of corruption.
Still recovering from the humiliating defeat in the Rajouri Garden bypoll where the ruling party lost to the BJP and was pushed to a distant third, Kejriwal stepped in quickly to contain the damage the video could do in the run-up to the April 23 municipal elections, billed as a test of AAP’s popularity.
Reflecting on the state of the nation, Vishwas talks about a host of issues -- from Pakistan, Kashmir to corruption. The video that was put on YouTube two days ago has since been shared widely on social media.
All political parties and their leader should keep India first, says 47-year-old Vishwas, who is also a poet.
“If you form government in Delhi on an anti-corruption plank and fall silent when some of your own come under scanner, people have the right to question you,” he says.
Recently, some AAP leaders have been accused of corruption and nepotism by a panel that looked into a string of decisions taken by the Kejriwal government.
The CBI is examining accusations of money laundering against Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain.
In his “India first” message, Vishwas also questions the “personality cult” and goes on to draw a parallel between Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and Yogi Adityanath.
“Whether it is Modi, Rahul, Yogi or Kejriwal...it is about five years, 10 years or 25 years. But India is beyond this and will be there for thousands of years,” Vishwas says, triggering talk of infighting in AAP.
Kejriwal tweeted the video on Saturday, saying the video was wonderful and everyone should watch it.
बहुत शानदार विडीओ। अंदर तक हिला देता है। ज़रूर देखें। https://t.co/0pIOm401T9— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 15, 2017
The chief minister then went on to retweet messages of party leaders and volunteers who had shared the video and their interpretation of it.
In an interview to a TV news channel, Kejriwal said Vishwas was family and the controversy over the video message was media propaganda.
“He is not only a party member. He is family...its (talks of Kumar being unhappy) media creation. Tomorrow media will say my wife has targeted me,” Kejriwal said in an interview to CNN News 18, a clip of which was also retweeted by the CM.
Defending his government’s record on corruption, the chief minister said he had been ruthless and had sacked ministers, whenever credible evidence was put forward.
Vishwas is one of the popular faces of AAP and is also on the list of the so-called star campaigners for the municipal elections but has so far stayed away from electioneering.