Delhi CM removes Kapil Mishra as minister; inducts 2 new faces
In a sudden move, the Arvind Kejriwal government today sacked Kapil Mishra as the Water Minister. Mishra has also been removed from the chairman post of Delhi Jal Board.
The development comes days after he sided with senior party leader Kumar Vishwas who has been at loggerheads with the party leadership.
The party also inducted two new faces -- Seemapuri MLA Rajendra Pal Gautam and Najafgarh legislator Kailash Gehlot -- into the Cabinet.
A senior official said the decision to remove Mishra was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Soon after the move, Mishra claimed he would 'expose' the involvement of certain AAP leaders in an alleged scam on Sunday morning.
Mishra said that he had met the CM earlier today and handed over documents related to the alleged scam.
"I was not informed of the decision and as per my knowledge, it was taken unilaterally by Kejriwal. The Cabinet or the Political Affairs Committee (the AAP's top decision- making body) was not involved," Mishra said.
He even questioned the ACB for not questioning former CM Sheila Dikshit in connection with the scam.
A senior government official said that the decision to remove Mishra was taken after it was found that the minister had submitted several 'inflated' bills.
According to news agency PTI, sources in the party said that Mishra was sacked because of his poor performance. However, the party had considered him as one of the most vocal and active voices in the government until he sided with Vishwas.
Speaking to media, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that water management was not up to the mark in the city.
"Kapil Mishra made a lot of effort... CM Kejriwal decided to bring in Kailash Gahlot in his place. Total two have been included in the Cabinet now, Kailash Gahlot and Rajendra Gautam for a post which was vacant," he said.
Mishra's sacking may lead to a major crisis in the Aam Aadmi Party.
Following the development, Vishwas tweeted suggesting he is willing to slug it out.
"I wish to assure the country and volunteers that we will continue to raise voice against corruption within and outside, irrespective of the consequences. Bharat Mata ki Jai," Vishwas, who had also cited reasons other than tampering of EVMs for the party's defeat, tweeted.
In the past one week, the party has witnessed events, nothing short of a drama.
On Sunday, AAP's Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan had accused Vishwas of being a "BJP-RSS agent" and planning a coup in the party.
Khan resigned from the party's PAC after Kejriwal expressed his displeasure over the matter. He, however, continued his tirade against Vishwas, who threatened to quit if stern action was not taken against Khan.
Vishwas alleged that Khan was just a "mask" and "coterie" around Kejriwal which was hatching conspiracy against him. Kejriwal and Sisodia had to visit the residence of Vishwas to pacify him.
The Okhla legislator was on Wednesday suspended from the party to placate Vishwas, but hours later Sisodia visited Khan at his residence. However, on Friday, Khan was appointed the chairman of a panel of the Delhi Assembly and also a member in seven newly constituted committees.
All AAP legislators including Somnath Bharti, Alka Lamba and Bhavna Gaur, who had backed Vishwas, have been accommodated in the Library Committee, not considered as prestigious with the panel having little work to do.
Bharti, who had openly advocated a greater role for Vishwas in the party, was removed as the Chairman of the Privileges Committee and Gehlot was appointed in his place.