New Delhi : After a sting operation claimed that AAP convener Arvind Kejriwalhad talked of poaching Congress MLAs to form the government in Delhi, a new tape has emerged in which he allegedly said that the Muslims have to vote for them to stop the Narendra Modi wave.
At the time of Delhi assembly polls Kejriwal is reportedly heard saying that Muslims won’t expect AAP to field many candidates from their community because they were looking to the party to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A voice alleged to be that of Kejriwal is heard saying, “If the party thinks that we field 11 Muslim candidates, then forget it. The question is not that AAP is giving 11 seats to people from the Muslim community. Muslims are looking at us in a way that if anyone can stop the Modi rath, then it is only Aam Aadmi Party. This is the hope that Muslims have from us. They don’t have any hope that more Muslim candidates will be fielded. Do a survey of 2000, 3000 and 5000 people. Do a survey of Muslims. What is the priority? Today, no one is able to stop the Modi rath in the country. They are forming governments in states one after the other. Today, Muslims are looking at us…if anyone can stop the Modi rath. Congress is over. It has given up. It is not contesting polls. They are asking us to field 11 seats.”
The tape has reportedly recorded when Kejriwal was in conversation with the members of the AAP minority wing and according to an AAP activist of the minority committee, Shahid Azad they had demanded 11 seats for Muslims which had been rejected. Shahid Azad’s said that the minority wing had met Kejriwal on 24 November 2014 and decided there should a proportional representation of Muslims in ticket distribution and that they should be consulted before tickets were allotted. But Arvind Kejriwal did not respect processes and the voice of minorities within his party. Many people in the room were recording this conversation which happened in the month of December.
The AAP has also attempted to defend Kejriwal’s stand on the matter by saying that his statements showed that the party was against communal politics of giving seats to Muslims purely because of their religion.
For the AAP and Kejriwal, the timing of the tape couldn’t be worse. Coming after two recordings that claim the AAP was trying to woo the Congress MLAs to switch sides in order to avoid elections, the new tape accuses the AAP chief of not heeding the voice of the minorities in his party.
Kejriwal tape on horse trading charges
The party that openly advocated sting operations to catch corruption in the act, has been thoroughly stung by one of its own. An audio recording from 2014, of a phone conversation between former Aam Aadmi Party MLA Rajesh Garg, the former MLA from Rohini and party chief Arvind Kejriwal, came into the open on March 4, 2015 Wednesday. In the recorded conversation that took place before the dissolution of the Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal is ordering Garg to get six Congress MLAs to support the AAP in forming a government in Delhi.
The recording has Kejriwal saying “We are ready, but these people are not agreeing at all. But they are in touch with Manish (Sisodia).”
Garg replies that eight MLAs are ready but Ajay Maken and Randeep Surjewala (Congress spokesperson) are not. Garg suggests that they use the mohalla sabhas to say that people want them to form the government with someone’s support. But Kejriwal asks him not to make this public unless the Congress says yes, else AAP will look “desperate”.
Both are worried about their efforts being too late, in case the assembly gets dissolved soon. But Kejriwal says that if they publicly say that Congress is supporting them, and the support doesn’t come through, then they will be reduced to nothing. Asif Mohammad Khan, former Congress MLA says that late in 2014 he had many meetings with Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh who asked him to get their word to the Congress high command. However, Khan says that Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi were dead set against any tie up with AAP.
The immediate fallout of the news was the resignation of senior party leader, Maharashtra convener, strong supporter and Kejriwal’s close confidant, Anjali Damania, who until Wednesday morning was a. She tweeted that she quit because she had supported the party for principles and not “horse-trading”. Only recently, she had spoken out against Prashant Bhushan, accusing him of wanting the party to lose the Delhi elections.
The party kicked into immediate damage-control mode, with senior leader Ashish Khetan downplaying any charges of horse-trading, calling it “political realignment” instead. However, clever wordplay is unlikely to get the party out of this fresh mess.
Evidence of AAP seeking Congress support mounted as AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav shows how Kejriwal wanted to reach out to the Congress, against the wishes of many volunteers and leaders. Bhushan had levied this charge in his letter to the National Executive on February 26.
For a party that had hoped to capitalize on its dramatic success in the Assembly elections this year, none of the tapes that are being aired in public augur well for its national convener, who is also its best recognized face. He may have managed to hold on to the post by ousting dissidents like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, but as we’ve pointed out earlier the stings and the manner in which the party has been treating internal dissent may have weakened the party just at the moment when it seemed invincible. Kejriwal has been far too busy scrambling to deal with the internal war to make any meaningful headway on his actual job, ie governing Delhi. And it remains to be seen how long the public will be patient with a party that seems perpetually on the verge of chaos.
Kejriwal and his party AAP are trying to defame the BJP, every time they shouted that BJP is the communal, anti-Muslim, Horse trading party. Now AAP’s top leaders are revealing that the AAP and its leaders are cheating the ordinary people with false slogans. Now the AAP followers are openly saying that the AAP’s National Convener was naked. His double stands are revealed.