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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

AAP crisis: Dilip Pandey targets Kumar Vishwas for being ‘soft on Rajasthan CM’

Senior AAP leader and Delhi convener Dilip Pandey attacked Kumar Vishwas for not speaking against Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

delhi Updated: Jun 15, 2017 14:58 IST
Vishal Kant
Vishal Kant
Hindustan Times
Addressing party workers from Rajasthan on Saturday, Kumar Vishwas had said the party will run a positive campaign in the state.
Addressing party workers from Rajasthan on Saturday, Kumar Vishwas had said the party will run a positive campaign in the state. (PTI FILE)

The Kumar Vishwas saga is far from over in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Senior leader and former Delhi convener, Dilip Pandey, questioned Vishwas on Wednesday for being ‘soft’ on Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje while making a direct attack on Congress leaders.

Tweeting the link to a news story about Vishwas criticising former MP Sandeep Dikshit, Pandey said: “Bhaiya, you criticise the Congress leaders but say you will not speak against Vasundhara in Rajasthan. Why?”

Pandey was referring to a speech delivered by Vishwas while addressing party workers from Rajasthan on Saturday.

The party national executive had made the poet-turned-politician in-charge of Rajasthan after an open rebellion by him against the top leadership following defeat in the municipal elections. Rajasthan will go to assembly polls next year.

In a video of the speech, Vishwas is heard saying that the party will ‘for the first time’ contest Rajasthan elections with a ‘constructive’ strategy of providing better water, power and health care instead of running a ‘Maharani hatao’ campaign. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje is referred to as ‘Maharani’ in the state, owing to her royal lineage.

“We will not resort to a negative approach to remove Maharani (from power)...we should be least concerned about what Maharani does after 8pm,” Vishwas told party workers in his address, during which he also hit out at senior party leaders considered close to the party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal, referring them as ‘leaders of Delhi’.

However, the speech had not gone down well with the party leadership though no one came out in open over the ‘perennial discomfort’ of top leadership with Vishwas’ continuation and his ‘role’ in the party.

“I have put out a simple logic. You need to be consistent in your criticism. On one hand you come out with direct criticism of all Congress leaders, but say that you will not target Maharani in Rajasthan. So, how will the party campaign against the incumbent government without hitting out at the head of it,” Dilip Pandey told HT, explaining his tweet against Vishwas.

A section in the AAP, considers Vishwas to be a ‘rightist’ who does not shy away from displaying his ‘personal relationship’ with those in power. Vishwas had courted controversy for inviting the likes of national security adviser Ajit Doval and former Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi at his birthday party.

As the crisis in the party unfolded after a spate of TV interviews by Vishwas questioning the party leadership and its ‘style of functioning’, AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan had termed Vishwas a ‘BJP agent’. The party suspended Khan to pacify Vishwas and made him in-charge of Rajasthan.

The move, however, failed to douse the fire in the party as Kapil Mishra, considered to be Vishwas loyalist, rebelled after being dumped from the Kejriwal cabinet. Mishra has since levelled a spate of corruption charges against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and health minister Satyendar Jain, besides accusing the party of accepting illegal money routed through shell companies as donations.

First Published: Jun 14, 2017 14:09 IST

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