Delhi’s sacked Water Minister Kapil Mishra claims that he saw Health Minister Satyendra Jain handing Rs. 2 crores in cash to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The shocking allegation triggered a political crisis and a bad PR for the party. BJP and Congress have called for police action and a CBI investigation against the current Chief Minister. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia has called Mr. Mishra allegations baseless—who had announced Mr. Mishra’s removal from the cabinet yesterday.
The 36-year-old former minister said he had met Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal this morning and revealed all to him. But he also said he was not quitting AAP. “AAP is my party,” he said. “Where did the money come from? They must say what was done with the money?” Kapil Mishra said at the promised tell-all meeting at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial in Rajghat. Mr. Mishra had earlier tweeted that he has “witnessed HIM taking illegal cash”.
Mr. Mishra’s removal — the latest in a string of upheavals to hit the Aam Aadmi Party — came last evening minutes after a series of tweets from him promised a “massive expose on tanker scam”. Mr. Mishra had said he had already met Mr. Kejriwal and informed him about the matter. But the Chief Minister’s response was not what he had desired. Alleging a “major conspiracy,” he said, “Arvind Kejriwal is directly calling up many AAP leaders and legislators… huge conspiracy ahead of my press conference… won’t stop, won’t bend”.
Calling it an “implosion”, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said while Mr. Kejriwal came to power promising honest governance, “He is now the most corrupt politician in the history.This is the fastest degeneration of a political party we have seen”. Pointing out that seven ministers of Delhi are facing corruption charges, the Congress called Mr. Mishra’s allegations “very serious”. “I think it is an affidavit he’s produced to the people. The CBI must lodge a First Information Report in this case”.
The party has inducted two new faces into the cabinet – Seemapuri MLA Rajendra Pal Gautam and Najafgarh legislator Kailash Gahlot who will replace Mr. Mishra as the Water Minister.
Mr. Mishra is considered close to Kumar Vishwas, who headlined AAP’s internal crisis that spilled out into the open last week. Like Mr. Vishwas, he was one of the few AAP leaders who had contradicted the party’s stand blaming Electronic Voting Machines for its humiliating defeat in the Delhi municipal elections.