India Today
Arvind Kejriwal Image Credit: India Today
Arvind Kejriwal Image Credit: India Today

AAP Gets That Sinking Feeling

Kumar Vishwas, a co-founder of AAP, is staying within the fold after it appeared inevitable that he would be cast out for criticising Arvind Kejriwal.

Shougat Dasgupta

Vishwas—a charismatic figure with a piquant turn of phrase, confined to the periphery of the party in part because he was thought to harbour BJP-RSS sympathies—had alleged internal corruption in a video released after AAP’s election defeats. One AAP MLA, Amanatullah Khan, even publicly accused Vishwas of wanting to break up the party. Khan has resigned from AAP’s political action committee as a result, but is sticking by his words. He has since been suspended from the party as Kejriwal and Delhi’s’deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, desperate to give the party a fillip, kept Vishwas onside. He will also now lead the party’s Rajasthan poll effort.

It’s a sign of self-belief that AAP is planning for elections due towards the end of 2018 because, as of now, the party is listing heavily. All hands have been engaged in plugging old leaks while new ones sprout elsewhere. It is a Sisyphean task; the good ship AAP appears to be doomed. It’s only a matter of time. Or so the opposition would have you believe. Of course, in the wake of three chastening defeats in swift succession, much of that opposition is also coming from within the party, as factions form and mutinous whispers are no longer hushed.

Ashutosh, rumoured to be in the thick of the internecine warfare, sounds a weary man on the phone. He plays the role of rational party spokesman, acknowledging mistakes but cautioning against th

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