Scams, feuds, controversies: The many troubles of Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP govt
Leaders of the party that has often alleged witch-hunt by the Central government are facing multiple cases from various agencies. The party’s troubles are not just external but it also faces threat of imploding from within. The biggest threat for the party is, however, the impending verdict in the office-of-profit case that can substantially reduce its tally in the assemblydelhi Updated: May 16, 2017 12:04 IST
Sacked Delhi water minister Kapil Mishra’s recent complaint of corruption against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal may be the least of Kejriwal’s worries.
Kejriwal and his colleagues are facing multiple probes from the Delhi Police, CBI, Income Tax, Punjab Police and the Election Commission. The Delhi government’s own anti-corruption branch is investigating graft charges against them.
The AAP has often accused the Centre of launching a witch-hunt against them; refusing to let their government work. Delhi Police have arrested at least 14 AAP MLAs on allegations such as rape, forgery, molestation and abetment to suicide. Three of its MLAs have been acquitted, and investigation is pending in other cases.
It isn’t just police probe. Kejriwal is facing trial in at least four defamation cases, including a criminal defamation case filed by finance minister Arun Jaitley. If convicted, the CM could be sent to prison, for the offence.
- Centre-appointed IPS officer MK Meena got to lead the ACB in place of SS Yadav, who was chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s choice. Despite Kejriwal’s crying foul, Meena is still the ACB chief
- The party has no control over the ACB
- After Centre appointed Meena, Kejriwal lost control over the unit. Meena reports to the lieutenant governor. Yadav was shunted out of the ACB
- FIR filed against DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal for appointing AAP volunteers on the panel, allegedly without interviews or releasing ads. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia was also interrogated in the case, while a chargesheet filed against Maliwal.
- ACB probing Sisodia for allegedly awarding government ads to agencies run by his relative. ACB has not found any evidence or filed an FIR in this case.
- Three FIRs filed against Kejriwal’s late brother-in-law, Surender Bansal, and senior PWD officials for allegedly claiming bills from PWD for road and sewerage work, which allegedly weren’t executed. Though the complaint mentioned Kejriwal, he is not an accused in the case.
- Probe inititaed against Kejriwal in the 2012 water tanker scam
- Probe started into allegations of scam in the app-based premium bus service plan. Senior transport officers and ministers are under probe
- In July 2016, the ACB conducted raids at the PWD office over ‘irregularities’ in the dismantling of the BRT corridor
- MLA Amanatullah Khan was appointed the Delhi WAQF board chairman in March 2016. In October, then L-G Najeeb Jung disbanded the board calling the appointment of its chairman and CEO illegal as it did not have his approval.
- Former L-G Najeeb Jung quashed the appointment of DERC chief Krishna Saini, appointed by the AAP govt.
- AAP govt accused L-G and the Centre of obstructing crackdown on tax defaulters after VAT commissioner Vijay Kumar was transferred out of Delhi.
- The govt has alleged then L-G Jung did not clear a file related to the appointment of 9,000 guest teachers in Delhi government schools
- At least 14 MLAs arrested on charges such as molestation, abetment of suicide, and rape among others. Three MLAs have been acquitted by the courts. Other cases are pending probe.
- In July 2016, an FIR was registered against DCW chairperson for allegedly naming a rape survivor in a WhatsApp messages sent to the media.
- Case of abetment to suicide against AAP leaders in the death of Rajasthan farmer Gajendra Singh. Singh hanged himself during an AAP rally in April 2015
- 21 AAP MLAs are under probe for allegedly holding office of profit. The AAP MLAs were appointed as parliamentary secretaries
- Kejriwal is facing a civil defamation suit filed by finance minister Arun Jaitley over the AAP leader’s remarks about discrepancies in Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) accounts during Jaitley’s tenure as the cricket body chief. Jaitley also filed the defamation suit against other AAP leaders
- Kejriwal is also facing a case filed by a constable for allegedly calling police personnel "thulla". The constable alleged Kejriwal "had intentionally insulted the entire Delhi Police force
- Criminal defamation case filed by Amit Sibal, son of former Congress union minister Kapil Sibal. Case filed in 2013 after Kejriwal alleged a conflict of interest as Amit represented a network operator while his father was the union communication minister
- Defamation case against Kejriwal filed by BJP leader Chetan Chauhan for making malicious comments on Facebook and tarnishing DDCA’s name
- Rajendra Kumar, IAS officer, principal secretary to Kejriwal was arrested in a corruption case
- Asim Ahmed, former food minister and AAP MLA from Matia Mahal booked on bribery charges in October 2015. CBI had booked Khan soon after Kejriwal sacked him after allegations that he had demanded ~6 lakh bribe from a builder
- Amanatullah Khan, AAP’s MLA from Okhla, was booked by the CBI in November 2016 for alleged irregularities in operations and job hiring at the Waqf Board when he was its chairman
- For the first time, all Delhi government bureaucrats (DANICS) cadre went on strike to protest a minister’s order of suspending two officers
- Ministers Asim Ahmed, Sandeep Kumar, Jitender Tomar and Kapil Mishra have been sacked from their cabinet posts
- JANUARY 2014 MLA Vinod Kumar Binny was expelled after first signs of rebellion against the party.
- APRIL 2015 The AAP expelled party’s founding members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan along with Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha. The four later went on to float a separate political outfit.
- JUNE 2015 Law minister Jitender Singh Tomar was first arrested for forging his education degree and later removed from the ministry.
- SEPTEMBER 2016 Minister Sandeep Kumar caught on tape in an objectional act with a woman, who later alleged rape. Kumar, social welfare, women and child development minister was arrested.
- MARCH 2017 Bawana MLA Ved Parkash joined the BJP after accusing the leadership of running a coterie. Prakash had joined AAP in 2015 after quitting the BJP.
- APRIL 2017 Senior leader Kumar Vishwas released a video attacking Kejriwal for shielding a corrupt minister, leading to speculation that all is not well within the party. This was followed by MLA Amanatullah Khan accusing senior leader Vishwas of being a BJP agent. Khan was later suspended by the party but not before Kejriwal personally visited Vishwas late night and sorted out things with him.
- MAY 2017 Water Minister Kapil Mishra sacked. A day after being sacked, Mishra filed a complaint against Kejriwal at the ACB accusing him of shielding the water mafia. In a press conference, Mishra also accused the party of using money power and women in MCD and Punjab polls.
The AAP, which came to power in 2015 winning 67 out of 70 seats, lost the civic elections in April, prompting party’s Delhi convener Dilip Pandey to resign. Within days of the loss, senior party leader Kumar Vishwas while contradicting the party’s claim of EVM tampering behind the loss, blamed the party leadership. “We can deal with false Delhi Police cases but the problem is internal politics. Some leaders are acting against the party’s philosophy,” said an AAP leader on condition of anonymity.
Sanjay Kumar from the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) told HT, “If it was only police probe then people would think that the centre is after them but when there is an internal fight, people will realise something is wrong in the party.”
Two party MLAs — Amanatullah Khan and Kapil Mishra — were suspended last week for rebelling against the party. A week before this, Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia had to pacify senior leader Kumar Vishwas, who was reportedly upset with party leadership.
Also, the Election Commission will soon pass its verdict in the office-of-profit case. The hearing ended on March 27. An adverse verdict could substantially reduce the strength of the Kejriwal government, leaving it vulnerable to defection and staring at another state poll.