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The silence of Arvind Kejriwal

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-05-2017 Meenal Thakur

New Delhi: Two days have passed since corruption charges were levelled against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal by sacked Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister Kapil Mishra, yet the former has maintained silence on the issue.

Apart from a tweet on Monday night, in which Kejriwal did not address any of the allegations against him but said that truth will win, the AAP national convenor is conspicuous by his silence even while the crisis in the party continues to escalate.

In a bitter spat, Mishra, who was sacked from the post of minister on Saturday, accused Kejriwal of accepting Rs2 crore in cash at his official residence from Delhi’s health minister Satyendra Jain, adding that Jain helped a relative of the AAP chief settle a Rs50 crore land deal for a farmhouse in Delhi’s Chhattarpur area.

While Mishra visited the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to meet the agencies’ officials on Monday, the party came out in support of Kejriwal. The political affairs committee (PAC) of the party suspended Mishra from the primary membership of the party. Though Kejriwal chaired the PAC meeting, he is still to give a reaction on the entire issue.

Kejriwal’s silence despite growing internal rift in the party post its defeat in the recently concluded Punjab and Goa assembly elections and Delhi Municipal elections could potentially damage AAP’s future prospects. Moreover, the fact that AAP came to power in Delhi in 2015 with a thumping majority by pitching an anti-corruption narrative makes Kejriwal’s silence even more questionable.

“The truth will win. This will start with a special session of the Delhi assembly tomorrow,” Kejriwal wrote on Twitter on Monday night after sacking Mishra from the party. On the other hand, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was quick to react to the allegation on Sunday itself.

“The allegations are absurd and do not merit a response. He (Kapil Mishra) was sacked due to poor performance,” Sisodia told reporters on Sunday.

Even the opposition parties continued to mount pressure on the AAP government. Not only did the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress issue statements condemning the incident, they even reached out to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor on Monday demanding action against the chief minister.

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