New Delhi: In yet another crisis in already troubled Aam Admi Party (AAP), Delhi's sacked water minister Kapil Mishra made a shocking revelation, claiming he has seen Health Minister Satyendra Jain handing Rs2 crore in cash to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
"Where did the money come from? They must say what was done with the money?" he said. The minister had earlier tweeted that he has "witnessed HIM taking illegal cash". Minutes before Mr Mishra's tell-all press conference, Mr Kejriwal went into a huddle with his deputy Manish Sisodia and other leaders. Kumar Vishwas, whom Kapil Mishra is considered close to, is also attending the meeting.
Kapil Mishra, 36, the legislator from east Delhi said he had met Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal this morning and revealed all to him. Mr Mishra's removal -- the latest in a string of upheavals to hit the Aam Aadmi Party -- came last evening minutes after a series of tweets from him promised a "massive expose on tanker scam".
His tweet after the meeting read, "I have witnessed HIM taking illegal cash... have shared all details with Lt. Gov. It is impossible to keep silent. Loss of power is nothing, ready to lose my life also". But he also said he was not quitting AAP. "AAP is my party," he said.
Mr Mishra is considered close to Kumar Vishwas, who headlined AAP's internal crisis that spilled out in the open last week. Targeting Mr Kejriwal last evening after his removal, he alleged a "major conspiracy".
"I will reveal big names, and may be because of those names, such a decision has been made," Mr Mishra said.
Later, a Hindi tweet from him said, "Arvind Kejriwal is directly calling up many AAP leaders and legislators... huge conspiracy ahead of my press conference... won't stop, won't bend".
The BJP hit out at AAP, with its spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain saying AAP has "left the ideology on which it was formed". "AAP has lost the right to stay in power," he said.
National Conference chief Omar Abdullah tweeted, "If he witnessed illegal cash changing hands & kept quiet so long as he was retained in the cabinet as minister then he is also complicit."
An inquiry into the tanker scam set up by the AAP government last year put the size of the scam at Rs. 400 crore and accused former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of creating artificial water scarcity to benefit the "tanker mafia".
On Saturday, announcing Mr Mishra's removal, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the minister had worked hard but "water management was not up to the mark. There were complaints about water not reaching people". The party has inducted two new faces into the cabinet - Seemapuri MLA Rajendra Pal Gautam and Najafgarh legislator Kailash Gahlot who will replace Mr Mishra as the Water Minister.
Like Mr Vishwas, Mr Mishra 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 after the drubbing in Goa and Punjab. "Yes, we have to reconnect with the people and understand reasons for this defeat," Mr Mishra had said.