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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra says Kejriwal conspiring against him but will go ahead with ‘expose’

Soon after being removed, Kapil Mishra said he would “expose” the involvement of certain AAP leaders in an alleged scam on Sunday. He also said he had met Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and handed over documents related to the alleged scam on Saturday.

delhi Updated: May 10, 2017 09:50 IST
Heena Kausar
Heena Kausar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
AAP leader and former Delhi water and tourism minister Kapil Mishra at a press conference in January 2017. Mishra was sacked from his cabinet position on May 6, 2017.
AAP leader and former Delhi water and tourism minister Kapil Mishra at a press conference in January 2017. Mishra was sacked from his cabinet position on May 6, 2017. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

Thrown out of the Delhi cabinet, Kapil Mishra has claimed a conspiracy was being hatched against him ahead of his Sunday’s press conference in which he would share “explosive details” of alleged Rs 400-crore water tanker scandal.

Pointing fingers at Arvind Kejriwal, who took away both water and tourism portfolios from him on Saturday, Mishra tweeted that the chief minister was personally calling up senior Aam Aadmi Party leaders and MLAs but he was firm in his resolve .

Ahead of the press meet, Mishra also sought a meeting with Delhi’s lieutenant governor Anil Baijal.

Mishra’s sacking and defiance indicates that the four-day-old truce in the Delhi’s ruling party was collapsing.

The Karwal Nagar MLA had backed senior colleague Kumar Vishwas in questioning the AAP’s line of blaming electronic voting machines for the party’s humiliation in recent polls, including Delhi’s civic election.

Mishra is considered close to Vishwas.

Vishwas and the party leadership recently patched up after an ugly dispute that played out in front of TV cameras.

An hour after he was sacked, Mishra said he would go public with the details that he shared with Kejriwal the same day.

In a series of tweets in Hindi late on Saturday evening, Mishra said he would release the details at 11:30am on Sunday at Rajghat, saying he was clean and would not leave the party he was a founding member of.

He would reveal names of AAP leaders who were part of the scandal, Mishra said, adding he had not been informed about his sacking.

The minister was removed as his department had failed to resolve the city’s water problem, the AAP said.

“Water management was not up to the mark and Kapil Mishra made a lot of effort but the CM decided to bring in Kailash Gahlot in his place,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Saturday. 

A senior official said the decision to remove Mishra, who was holding the post since AAP came to power in February 2015, was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Kejriwal.

“I was not informed of the decision and as per my knowledge, it was taken unilaterally by Kejriwal. The cabinet or the political affairs committee was not involved,” Mishra told the PTI news agency.

The PAC is the highest decision making body of the AAP.

Mishra on Saturday also wrote to the anti-corruption bureau (ACB), demanding a swift investigation into the tanker scam.

Mishra, who was on July 4, 2016, questioned by the ACB, wrote to special commissioner of police MK Meena and wanted to know why the probe was taking so long.

“So much time has passed and questioning of (former chief minister) Sheila Dikshit or any progress in the probe has not come to my knowledge. This is a grave issue and the people of Delhi want the truth as soon as possible,” he said.

The Kejriwal government in June 2015 set up a five-member committee to probe alleged irregularities in the water tankers case. The panel submitted is report to Kejriwal in August 2015, pointing to corruption in the awarding of tenders. It recommended a first information report, or an FIR, against Dikshit and a probe by the CBI and the ACB.

On June 20, the ACB registered an FIR against Dikshit as well as Kejriwal. The FIR against Kejriwal was registered on a complaint by leader of opposition in assembly and BJP member Vijender Gupta “for causing delay in the probe and not cancelling the contract for water tankers”.

“Since I had probed the issue and submitted the report of the fact-finding team, I had recommended that to complete the investigation, it was necessary to arrest and interrogate Sheila Dikshit and people in her government,” Mishra’s letter said.

Pointing to delays, he told the ACB chief that investigation in four other Jal Board cases during Dikshit’s term, too, had not seen much movement.

Congress leader Dikshit served as the chief minister for three successive terms, from 1998 to 2013.