Kejriwal accused of horse-trading

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi | Updated on March 11, 2015 Published on March 11, 2015


Anjali Damania quits party following audio sting by former AAP MLA Rajesh Garg

The widening rift in the AAP turned into a mud-slinging match after an audio sting of Delhi Chief Minister and party chief Arvind Kejriwal purportedly trying to poach six Congress MLAs to form a government in Delhi last year surfaced on a television channel on Wednesday.

In the purported sting, former party MLA Rajesh Garg also accused Kejriwal aide and now Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia of trying to lure Congress MLAs to split and support an AAP-led government.

The former AAP MLA from Rohini also circulated an audio clip of a purported telephonic conversation of Kejriwal to back his allegations.

Garg, however, denied that he had made the audio clip public, while admitting that “I have been in the anti-corruption movement and keep on recording conversations.”

He further alleged that Sisodia was in touch with the Congress MLAs to try to lure them to float another political party and extend support to the AAP from outside as Kejriwal was not ready to face the Assembly polls.

“We are ready to form the government, but Congress is not ready to support us. Manish (Sisodia) is in touch with the Congress. Do one thing, split the Congress and ask their six MLAs to float a new party and support us,” Kejriwal was purportedly heard saying in a telephonic conversation with Garg.

The Congress had eight MLAs in the previous Assembly and to escape anti-defection law, six MLAs would have required to form a breakaway group.

Just as the muck was flying around thick and fast, Anjali Damania, a key backer of the Kejriwal ‘camp’, tweeted that she was quitting the party.

“I quit; I have not come into AAP for this nonsense. I believed him; I backed Arvind for principles, not horse-trading,” the AAP leader from Maharashtra wrote.

In a series of tweets, she said: “Aap is not a political party. It was a ray of hope for this country. Thousands of vols (volunteers) slogged for it. Just no one can play with the siddhant (principles).”

Party discipline

As if this was not enough, in a joint letter to volunteers, senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, too, alleged that Kejriwal had tried to strike a deal with the Congress after the Lok Sabha polls.

In their letter, Yadav and Bhushan, who are facing ouster from the party after a majority of party MLAs wrote to Kejriwal complaining about their anti-party utterances, said: “Both of us will continue to work for the party within the confines of party discipline.”

While Kejriwal, undergoing naturopathy in Bengaluru, is yet to break his silence on the growing internal crisis, it is party volunteers and the people of Delhi who seem bewildered with the leaked letters, blogs and tweets doing the rounds over the past few days.

MLAs supporting Kejriwal have demanded that the father-son duo of Shanti and Prashant Bhushan be expelled along with Yadav from the AAP for anti-party activities, and have started a signature campaign for the ouster of these three leaders.

Published on March 11, 2015
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