With reference to the report, "Arvind Kejriwal sacks minister Sandeep Kumar over 'objectionable' CD" (September 1), the news must have come as a bolt from the blue for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Kumar is the third AAP minister in Delhi to be dismissed after Food and Supplies Minister Asim Khan over graft allegations and Law Minister Jitender Tomar for allegedly faking his college degree. The AAP's Punjab Convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur was also removed for allegedly accepting money in exchange for tickets in the Assembly elections in the state next year.
How can the AAP claim to be a political holy cow now? There might well be more skeletons in its cupboard. The party's earlier bright poll prospects might be dealt a severe blow because of these developments. To this add clashes reported between pro- and anti-Kejriwal groups in Amritsar and it does not augur well for a party that is still in its infancy.
Chhotepur had openly objected to the declaration of 32 candidates (contained in two separate lists) by the AAP high command (read Big Five) and was quickly shown the door. But if the softened tone of AAP leaders is any indication, the party brass seems to have realised the discontent simmering within the party as well as the public support Chhotepur continues to enjoy in Punjab.
Although the AAP leadership claims he is very much part of the party, Chhotepur is reported to have snubbed its overtures saying, "no going back". He also said he was no longer "morally" with the party leadership.
AAP chief Kejriwal must not be over-optimistic about winning 100 seats in the Punjab Assembly polls. He must first douse the raging fire in the AAP before it's too late.
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