Ambitious or arrogant? Is Kumar Vishwas, AAP's answer to Rahul, Modi?

He's the man who will take on Modi's shehzaada, Azam Khan's yuvraaj and the Congress's baton-holder-in-waiting in the latter's home constituency and Congress bastion of Amethi. Call him audacious or overplaying his hand, but he has also invited the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to contest from Amethi, promising to trounce Rahul and Modi together.

He's also wriggling out of a controversy after an old video surfaced showing him making a comment about a Muharram procession. For somebody still at the start of his political career, Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas has found his way into the headlines rather comfortably.

 Ambitious or arrogant? Is Kumar Vishwas, AAPs answer to Rahul, Modi?

AAP leader Kumar Vishwas. Image courtesy ibnlive

Known as a poet who would routinely break into song on stage during Anna Hazare's fasts and other events organised by India Against Corruption, Vishwas is now leading efforts to embarrass the Congress party in its vice-president's constituency, nurtured for years by Rajiv Gandhi and for one term by Sonia Gandhi.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Vishwas blames the current state of Indian politics on "good people" staying out of the field too long. "But now politics has become a mainstream agenda, and things have started to change," he is quoted as saying.

The report also says Vishwas has 1.6 million likes on his Facebook page and 1,38,000 followers on Twitter.

Having dropped out of engineering college after listening to his "soul", he studied literature and poetry.

He topped again in his postgraduate course, this time in Hindi literature, setting a "still standing record of 76 per cent" for CCS University, Meerut (he studied in MMH College, Ghaziabad)."

Having taught in Rajasthan until 2000, he then joined Lala Lajpat Rai College in Ghaziabad from where he is now on leave without pay.

In the course of his performances, writing and activism, the report says, he got acquainted with Arvind Kejriwal in 2006, and began to participate in the latter's protests. Having once fancied himself as a writer for Hindi films, Vishwas's poetry too has now changed from romantic subjects to patriotic ones that are set to music and sung at AAP events.

As AAP readies for the big scaling-up for Parliamentary elections, Vishwas is expected to travel across the country as one of the party's big campaigners, apart from campaigning in his own constituency (Amethi, unless Rahul contests from elsewhere, he says).

Vishwas, a close confidante of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, was also present on the dais when the Delhi Jal Board chief made the announcement about free water, raising many eyebrows.

Vishwas appears always ready for some verbal jousting, getting into a war of words with the Congress by calling the latter party's leaders cheats. "I just called them cheaters which is a well known fact. They have been betraying the public for long. My reaction is nothing as compared to them. Every year Manmohan Singh makes a billion promises but never fulfills them. Now if they feel so upset about a comment on a fact, my consolations are with them,” he was quoted as saying.

Very active on Twitter, Vishwas responded to the indecision over a house for Kejriwal by tweeting a picture of his own bungalow. "Will they call me a khaas aadmi," he tweeted.

 

Clearly, Vishwas has emerged as one of the key strategists of AAP, having been instrumental in mobilising the support of youth before the Delhi elections.

His own website calls him a new age poet and motivator. "His ‘Koi Deewana Kehta Hai’ and ‘Hotho Par Ganga Ho, Hatho me Tiranga Ho’ Solo concerts have practically changed the definition of Poetic performance... As a celebrated Hindi poet, he is well known across the world. He is credited with reviving Hindi poetry among young generation," his website says.

No doubt, he'll be hoping to add chapters of his political career very soon.

Updated Date: Jan 08, 2014 11:39:30 IST