Now revolt brews in AAP, Kejriwal may be replaced

Tags: News
There is a move brewing within the AAP to get rid of its leader Arvind Kejriwal and replace him with an "acceptable" face. Manish Sisodia is emerging as a strong contender to replace Kejriwal, insiders in the party say.

It is learnt that two defeated AAP Lok Sabha candidates, Shazia Ilmi and Kumar Vishwas, are upset with Kejriwal’s style of functioning, amidst reports that several AAP functionaries could quit and move to the BJP.

With the party’s failure to open an account in the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, many within the AAP feel that the party may not be able to touch double digit figures in the eventuality of the city going for fresh assembly elections.

AAP, which bagged 28 of the 70 assembly segments in the Delhi assembly elections in December last, lost a majority of them to the BJP in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Kejriwal and his six former ministers were unable to score in any of their respective assembly segments in the parliamentary polls.

It is reliably learnt that there was a division of opinion in the AAP’s political affairs committee (PAC) on accepting Congress support to stake claim for forming a government in Delhi.

At a PAC meeting on Monday, a section of the party leaders rejected the idea of the party seeking Congress support. “Others pointed out if fresh elections were held, there were chances of the party losing some assembly segments. Some members advocated a referendum on the matter,” a leader said.

What is most worrying is the speculation that a section of AAP MLAs could change sides to join the BJP. “Fearing they may lose their seats in the fresh elections and to ensure their membership is not cancelled due to strong anti-defection laws, one-third of the legislators could form another front to support the BJP,” a AAP leadersaid. A highly placed source said that a section of the AAP leadership had even sent feelers to the Congress suggesting that in case Kejriwal was not acceptable to them, they could have Manish Sisodia as their CM candidate.

The Congress, however, ruled out any possibility of the party extending support to the AAP. At a joint press conference on Tuesday, Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely, Congress leader of the house Haroon Yusuf and chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said come what may, they would not extend support to the AAP. “We gave them one chance and they betrayed everyone,’’ Lovely said.

Kejriwal along with Sisodia also met lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung on Tuesday. Though there was speculation that the two talked about possible moves at government formation, AAP described it as a courtesy call.

The feeling within AAP is that by quitting the government within 49 days, there was a lot of resentment among voters against Kejriwal. In such a situation, they said Sisodia could be an alternate choice.

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