Kapil Mishra’s ouster exposes widening chinks in Aam Aadmi Party


The ouster of Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra, who was on the chopping block for some time, has once again exposed the widening chinks in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that barely survived a crisis last week when senior leader Kumar Vishwas revolted.

As Vishwas stands with the Delhi Chief Minister and his friend of 12 years Arvind Kejriwal and has disowned his loyalist Mishra in the latest episode, the latter has made it clear that he is the boss.

None of his detractors so far had accused Kejriwal of personal corruption and this change in discourse has made the continuance of Mishra, a Vishwas loyalist and son of former East Delhi Mayor from BJP Annapurna Mishra, in the party untenable.

With Kejriwal now vulnerable to such allegations, it is also to be seen whether Mishra’s outbursts give dissenters courage to take on the leadership.

Mishra’s ouster is more than what meets the eye. AAP may try to explain it on performance parameters but the fact remains that Mishra was close to the centre of the crisis last week when Vishwas made public his displeasure over the party’s functioning.

In a direct confrontation with Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Mishra sought introspection in the party for the Delhi civic polls drubbing and refused to parrot the party narrative on EVMs. He also took the fight to the anti-Vishwas camp when he took on MLA Amanatullah Khan who had accused Vishwas of playing the BJP game.

The first round went to Vishwas when Kejriwal placated him and suspended Khan before making him resign from the Political Affairs Committee.

But the truce now appears shattered though Vishwas publicly supported Kejriwal and disowned Mishra’s allegations. However, Kejriwal has already given more assignments to the suspended Khan on Friday while sacking Mishra the next day.

An AAP leader said that Mishra, whose entry into AAP hit headlines due to his mother’s political affiliation, grew too big for his boots and the leadership felt that he needs to be shown his place. However, the leader said, Vishwas could not save Mishra, as he bit more than he chew and Kejriwal showed that he is ready to take risks.

Sources said it is to be seen how Vishwas reacts to the development though he has kept his cards close to the chest. On Saturday, he had given indications that he would stand by Mishra, who represents Karawal Nagar.

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