A fresh crisis erupted in the Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday as sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra indicated an open revolt against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra has said he saw health minister Satyendar Jain give Rs 2 crore to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday.
Satyendra Kumar Jain, is a controversial Cabinet Minister in the Government of Delhi. His portfolio includes Health, Industries, Home, Public Work Department, Power, Urban Development, Transport. He is currently in his second term as Delhi Health Minister, having previously served as Health and Industries Minister from 28 December 2013 to 14 February 2014 in the previous AAP Government.
“Day before yesterday, at Kejriwal’s house I saw Satyendar Jain give Kejriwal Rs 2 crore in cash,” said Mishra. Jain is health and PWD minister in the Kejriwal government.
“I asked him ‘What is this? What is this for?’ He (Kejriwal) refused to answer. And then he said ‘In politics things like this happen that can only be talked about later,'” Mishra said today at a press conference at Rajghat
“After seeing the cash with my own eyes, there is no way I could be quiet. I don’t care about my political position or even my life. I couldn’t take this lying down,” Mishra said.
Mishra added that he informed Delhi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) about this transaction immediately. Yesterday, when he went to meet the AAP chief, Mishra told him he’s informed the ACB. Mishra implied that’s why he was sacked from his ministerial posts yesterday by Kejriwal.
Earlier on Sunday, Mishra met Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and briefed him on the water tanker scam that has been one of the main battles against the previous Sheila Dikshit regime.
Mishra was on Saturday thrown out of the cabinet and stripped off the water and tourism portfolios by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
A senior official said the decision to remove Mishra was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Mishra became the fourth AAP minister to be sacked after Jitendra Singh Tomar, Asim Ahmed Khan and Sandeep Kumar, since the AAP stormed to power in 2015.
The official said Mishra was removed after it was found that consumers were receiving “inflated” water bills.
On the water tanker scam, Mishra said that he is ready to assist law enforcement agencies. “Was Kejriwal lying to the public of Delhi since 2015? Within one month of becoming minister, I made a report against Sheila Dikshit. When I wanted to meet the anti-corruption bureau, everyone knows what had happened. After writing the letter, I met Kejriwal. I am exposing after I was dismissed by the chief minister,” he said.
On Saturday, Mishra had claimed he would name a few faces within AAP who were allegedly involved in the water tanker scam. “I met Kejriwal this morning and had a detailed discussion about the water tanker scam. I have named people within the party. And it was after that meeting that I heard about my removal from the cabinet. So far, I have not received any official intimation.
On his removal, he said he has not received any official confirmation about his removal. “Even L-G hasn’t received any communication. It is only in media,” he said.
Mishra was axed from the Cabinet on Saturday, days after he sided with senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas who has been at loggerheads with the party leadership.
His sacking also highlighted the simmering tension between the leadership and Vishwas, which could snowball into a major crisis for the poll-battered AAP.
Mr Mishra is considered close to Kumar Vishwas, who headlined AAP’s internal crisis that spilled out in the open last week. Like Mr Vishwas, he was one of the few AAP leaders who had contradicted the party’s stand blaming Electronic Voting Machines for its humiliating defeat in the Delhi municipal elections.
Kapil Mishra is an MLA representing Karawal Nagar constituency. He was Minister for Water, Tourism, Culture, Arts & Languages and Gurudwara Elections.