Opposition guns for Kejriwal after Kapil Mishra’s allegations

Aparna Parekh
File photo of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

File photo of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

BJP and Congress are gunning for Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s head as the AAP chief battles a corruption allegation made by his former cabinet minister Kapil Mishra.

A day after being stripped of his portfolio, Mishra levelled corruption charges against Kejriwal. Mishra claimed that he saw Satyendra Jain, another minister in the Delhi government, give ₹ 2 crore to the AAP chief.

The allegation gave the Opposition a new weapon to call for Kejriwal’s resignation as chief minister.

“Kejriwal has no moral right to continue as chief minister in the wake of the allegations by Mishra. He should step down,” said Congress chief Ajay Maken at a press conference in Delhi.

The Congress alleged that AAP had lost its “anti-corruption plank” and the  “graft” charges against the chief minister were “serious”.

“CBI should register cases regarding Mishra’s allegation that he saw Kejriwal receiving Rs 2 crore from his Health Minister Satyendar Jain, and also with regard to the findings of Shungulu Committee report,” Maken said.

“The Aam Admi Party (AAP) which was formed on anti-corruption plank has lost it in the wake of Mishra’s  allegations against the chief minister, and the Shungulu Committee report that has put his government under the dock for various irregularities,” he added.

BJP too called for strict action against Kejriwal, an old rival.

“Kejriwal should resign if has any morality left with him because Kapil Mishra, who was a minister in the government has accused him of corruption,” said Manoj Tiwari, chief of BJP’s Delhi unit.

Tiwari also said that he will meet Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal and take up the matter with him.

“In case Kejriwal doesn’t resign, the Lt Governor should examine the possibility of recommending dismissal of the AAP-led Delhi government to the President,” Tiwari suggested.

On Sunday morning, a day after being dropped as a minister, Mishra alleged that he saw Jain handing over Rs 2 crore to Kejriwal at his official residence.

AAP continues to battle infighting as Mishra’s allegations comes just days after Kejriwal managed to pacify one of its prominent leaders and party co-founders Kumar Vishwas. Vishwas was said to be at loggerheads with the party chief and had threatened to quit.

Interestingly, Vishwas backed the chief minister and welcomed a probe to clear the allegations.

“We can disagree, fight or be disappointed with each other … I know Arvind for 12 years and I can say that I cannot imagine him taking a bribe or being corrupt … even his enemies cannot imagine this,” Vishwas told reporters.

“Kejriwal has said this 100 times that he should be removed if he is corrupt. I have called Satyendra Jain and asked him to explain his position in the PAC … whether he is being framed or has there been a mistake, we are ready for an investigation … be it a ED or a CBI probe,” Vishwas added.

Even as the Opposition called for Kejriwal’s dismissal, AAP maintained that there was no truth in the allegations.

“His (Mishra’s) allegations do not merit a response. He has been sacked due to poor performance,” said Delhi Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.

(With inputs from PTI)