Kumar Vishwas has decided to stay with AAP for the time being. This after hectic parleys over the past few days and question mark on whether he is going to quit the party and join BJP. The poet for some time has been flirting with BJP. On and off, he has made some comments praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, surgical strikes, where the party had to distance itself from his statements.
After the dismal show in MCD election, Vishwas came out and criticised Arvind Kejriwal’s handling of the elections, his strategy of targetting Modi, tactical blunders in Punjab and Goa, demanding proof for surgical strikes. He was also very vocal about the EVM tampering issue dismissing allegations as baseless. His opinion was that party lost because it didn’t get votes. AAP should analyse the reasons why it is losing support, he argued.
Herea are the key reasons why Vishwas stayed with AAP
1. Emotional chord with the party
Vishwas is one of the founder members of AAP. He has been associated with the party since 'India Against Corruption' movement days. He has an emotional association with the party, AAP's his brainchild too in a lot of ways. His oratory skills were extensively used by the party in the Hindi belt of Delhi and helped drum up support for the party. It’s something he created together with his friends and it’s difficult to part. He was unhappy and successfully managed to make his point.
2. Suspension of Amanatullah Khan
Vishwas alleged that Khan sent SMS to people that he was leading a split in the party backed by BJP. This significantly marred his reputation. Vishwas was not happy with the silence from Kejriwal/Manish Sisodia camp. They didn’t come out openly to chastise Khan. However, Vishwas upped the ante, Khan resigned from PAC. Khan was enjoying patronage from Sanjay Singh, Dilip Pandey and Brijesh Pathak faction.
The fact that the concerned MLA belonged to the minority community which is an anchor voting segment of AAP also ensured Kejriwal was in two minds over taking a strong action. However, Vishwas stuck to his guns and managed to get Khan suspended from the party.
3. Gets a plum position for Rajasthan election next year
Vishwas was placated as he was offered the state in-charge position for Rajasthan. Election to the state are due next year in November. He gets a free hand in devising party strategy, selection of candidates, entire campaign management. Rajasthan has always voted against the incumbent government and with the Congress graph going down nationally, AAP could create a space for itself. Vishwas gets a huge responsibility in this sense. This also showed that party valued his contribution and organisation skills.
4. Gets back at opponents within party
Vishwas for some time wasn't sharing a great rapport with Singh, Pandey and Pathak. He held them responsible for the defeat in MCD election. He also has within party circles openly criticised Singh’s handling of Punjab affairs and holds him responsible for the loss in a state in which AAP enjoyed significant advantage. It was also a matter of personal rivalry which happens in any organisation. While they were made state in-charge, Vishwas was sidelined.
5. In BJP, he would have been a small fry
The deal with BJP may not have worked. In Delhi, the party has another Purvanchali as state president. Vishwas was pitching for national spokesperson role as per sources with vacancies in party after Shrikant Sharma and Siddhartha Nath Singh going to UP. BJP felt Vishwas doesn't have the national stature yet to become the spokesperson.
BJP is a large organisation and it would have taken him a lot of time to become a star there. AAP is like a startup of sorts which can offer him better role and responsibility any day. In BJP, he would have been a junior. In AAP, he is among the top five leaders and enjoys high visibility.
6. Vishwas had the support of MLAs unlike Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan
First, Kejriwal thought he could pacify Vishwas and if the situation deteriorated, then he would handle him in a similar manner as Yadav and Bhushan. While they were the think tanks, they didn't have the support of the party cadre. Vishwas has the support of 35 MLAs, more than half the strength of party, in the Assembly. He could have forced a split. This made Kejriwal back off a bit.
7. Kejriwal cautious after Arunachal, Goa and Manipur
Kejriwal understands that BJP is out to unsettle his government. Any lapse on his part in not addressing the concerns would give fodder to BJP. The AAP alleges BJP is trying to break the party after the MCD loss and repeat an Arunachal here. Additionally, Modi, Amit Shah need to settle scores with him, so there is an element of "personal khundak" as well.
To sum up, all’s well that ends well. Vishwas stays with the party. Kejriwal, quick to understand his strength, addressed his concerns. Additionally, they are old buddies. In friendship there are moments like these, ultimately the group would have sat over a cup of chai or drinks (no prohibition in Delhi) and settled their internal matter. A startup like AAP offers great opportunities for all top leaders, and one needs to be just patient. How long this truce will hold remains to be seen though.
Updated Date: May 03, 2017 18:28 PM