Had it not been for a driver, Arvind Kejriwal may have become the 'former' Chief Minister of Delhi by now. A grand coup planned to split the Aam Aadmi Party and force Kejriwal to resign from the Chief Minister's post ended up making its perpetrators the victims, Kapil Mishra being one of them.
AAP leaders washing their dirty linen in public, suspensions, rebellion, split, peace talks and the ouster of its leaders may have all been the result of an unsuccessful coup to consign Kejriwal to political oblivion. AAP leaders claim that they have proof of how BJP managed to back an internal coup in the party and used AAP leaders like Kumar Vishwas and Kapil Mishra.
"Kumar Vishwas and Kapil Mishra led the coup"
A report by an independent journalist from Delhi, Sharad Gupta claims that the truce between Arvind Kejriwal and Kumar Vishwas may be temporary but had the truce not come about, the AAP government in Delhi would have been pulled down. The report claims that all attempts were made by the duo to dislodge Kejriwal making Vishwas the National convenor of the party and Kapil Mishra the Chief Minister.
The ploy to dislodge Kejriwal
The writer alleged that Kumar Vishwas hatched the plot to topple the Kejriwal government. The first step towards the same was forging a mistrust for Kejriwal within the party. The coup has been in process for three months. Vishwas started planting the idea of 'leadership failure' through social media posts, media interviews that Kejriwal government had abandoned the ideals on which the AAP was formed. The next stage of the plan involved consolidating the support of AAP MLAs who would stand by Kumar Vishwas. At one point in time, Vishwas had close to 15 MLAs who had pledged their support to him.
How the coup played out during Delhi MCD elections 2017
In a bid to create an artificial water crisis, then Water Minister of Delhi Kapil Mishra turned off the water supply to the national capital. People flooded the AAP with complaints but Mishra let the crisis loom. AAP leaders believe that this was an attempt to sabotage elections for the party. Kumar Vishwas was asked to campaign for the municipal body polls but he never came. AAP leaders believe that it was an attempt to ensure that the party loses.
Poll aftermath and the coup
Following the loss of face in Delhi MCD elections, legislators who supported Kumar Vishwas started making public statements blaming the leadership for the loss. Many, including, Mishra, did not approve of Kejriwal blaming EVMs for the loss. In the meanwhile, MLA Amanatullah Khan accused Vishwas of being an RSS agent, a statement that enraged Vishwas who demanded his ouster. MLAs Somnath Bharti, Adarsh Shastri, Rajesh Rishi and Alka Lamba seconded the demand.
How a driver saved Kejriwal
Kapil Mishra, who according to the coup should have replaced Kejriwal as Chief minister, may not have been ousted from the party and sitting on fasts if his driver had kept mum. The writer claims that Mishra's driver spilt the beans on the coup to another driver who shared the information with a special duty officer. Soon Kejriwal got wind of the coup to topple his government. Mishra was called to Manish Sisodia's residence and informed of the party's plans to drop him from the cabinet.
Kejriwal's master stroke to save his seat
As soon as he realised that his own party members were attempting to dethrone him, Kejriwal got down to business, the write claims. In a bod to build confidence and woo fence-sitters, Kejriwal spoke to MLAs in groups and individually to assess the support he continued to enjoy. Assured of the same, the party decided to let go of Mishra after he accused the party of victimising him and threatening to jail Kejriwal. Kumar Vishwas, thanks to the mass support he enjoys, was retained in the party and given better responsibilities away from Delhi.
AAP leaders called the coup a 'major scare' but maintained that there was nothing to fear anymore. But they continued to blame the BJP for backing the coup strategised by AAP members.