Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sishodia with party leader Kumar Vishwas talks to the media after Aam Aadmi Party's PAC meeting in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)
The crisis in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which was threatening to split the party with a senior member of the group, Amanatullah charging that another senior member and MLA, Kumar Vishwas was an agent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was averted with Amanatullah being suspended from AAP following his voluntary resignation from the Political Affairs Committee,the most important committee in the party. However, the general opinion is that the crisis has been postponed, not averted.
Kumar Vishwas a powerful speaker, poet and a leader who describes himself as a founder member of the AAP, was elevated and given charge of the party's Rajasthan unit. He may also have been promised a seat in the Rajya Sabha, though this could not be immediately confirmed. After intense soulsearching in the wake of the party's disastrous performance in the Municipal Corporation elections, there have been some voices of dissent inside the party which have criticisedexcessive centralisation, lack of democracy and a bent towards the BJP.
Amanatullah, elected from the Muslim-dominated Okhla assembly constituency gave vent to this feeling after Kumar Vishwas posted avideo a few weeks ago, criticising 'corruption' and toleration of indulgence in the party. Worried that Khan's allegations might lead to Vishwas's exit fromthe party, Party chief Kejriwal and other top leaders went to Vishwas's residence to persuade him to stay on in the party. Vishwas reportedly laid three conditions, one being the sacking of Amanutallah, to which the leadership of AAP appears to have agreed.
BJP leaders tried to cash in on the differences in AAP bydescribing Vishwas as a 'true nationalist' (Sacchhe deshbhakt). However, thisappears to have failed. For some time now, allegations that Vishwas wascovertly siding with the BJP have been circulating with Vishwas hotly denyingall these rumours.
Vishwas was the AAP nominee from Amethi in the Lok Sabh aelections of 2014 against Smriti Irani and Rahul Gandhi. He lost his deposit, winning less than 3 per cent of the vote share.