Graft charge against Arvind Kejriwal unites warring AAP factions
Sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra's allegations Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday brought together warring factions of the party with MLAs, even those who sided with Kumar Vishwas during a recent tussle, closing ranks around the AAP chief.
Vishwas himself defended Kejriwal, saying it was "unthinkable" that the chief minister would indulge in any act of corruption or accept bribe.
However, Vishwas demanded that Delhi minister Satyendar Jain explain his position on the charge made by Mishra that he had handed over Rs two crore to Kejriwal.
Kejriwal's friends-turned-foes, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, also appeared sceptical of the allegations, even as they compared the AAP with a "sinking ship".
"I have known Kejriwal for 12 years and after all these years together it is unthinkable for me that he would indulge in corruption," Vishwas tweeted.
Mishra was quick to react: "The day Jain goes to jail, even you will believe me brother. Till then ekla chalo re(walk alone)."
A day after being shown the door from the Delhi Cabinet, Mishra today sought to put Kejriwal on the dock, claiming that he saw the latter accepting "Rs 2 crore from Jain at his official residence".
Several MLAs including Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Somnath Bharti, Rajesh Rishi, who had echoed the position of Vishwas for the party's need to introspect in the wake of poll defeats, rallied behind Kejriwal on a day someone questioned his financial probity for the first time.
Senior party leader Ashish Khetan pithy tweet was reflective of the party's near unanimity on the situation.
"Arvind Kejriwal ko kharidne wala abhi tak is duniya me bana nahi hai (The person who can buy out Arvind Kejriwal is yet to
Former Delhi convenor of the party, Dilip Pandey, decried Mishra for "losing his mind" after losing position. Those who are in the party for power and fame should ponder over this, he said.
"I might agree with charges of power greed, arrogance, authoritarianism against Kejriwal, but charge of taking bribe need solid evidence," Yadav tweeted, while Bhushan said: "The true test of character comes in adversity. We are now seeing the true faces of AAP's remnants as its ship sinks. What an opportunity lost."