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Dissident AAP MLAs plough lonely furrow in Delhi Assembly


New Delhi: They don’t thump their desks when their colleagues do so after a thunderous speech an AAP legislator nor do they join the chorus against the minuscule opposition BJP in the Delhi assembly.

Despite being among the staggering 67 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the 70-member assembly, they don’t seem to belong to the party.

Once the foot soldiers of the AAP, four legislators – Asim Ahmed Khan, Jitender Singh Tomar, Colonel Devinder Sehrawat (retd) and Pankaj Pushkar – now sit disaffected and disillusioned in the ongoing assembly’s winter session.

These legislators, who have fallen out of favour with AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for reasons ranging from graft to dissidence, have been the least participative during the session of the House.

The legislators, who sit together in the last row, have been sorely indifferent to what their party colleagues do in the assembly – whether it is the tabling of “historic” bills or protesting against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member O P Sharma for his sexist remark against AAP leader Alka Lamba.

On November 26, when a bulk of AAP lawmakers upped the ante against Sharma by massing near the speaker’s podium, they looked reluctant to join. To show solidarity, Khan, Tomar and Sehrawat merely stood up from their seats.

But when the sloganeering against Sharma grew louder and one of the visibly agitated AAP called them to join, they ambled towards the podium.

But, it was only Col. Sehrawat who pumped the air with his fist once and quickly slipped his hand into his trouser pocket.

Pushkar kept sitting and flipping through a document.

“It’s not that I am not with them (AAP). I am 50-years-old and I have a status. It won’t look nice if I protest in the well (speaker’s podium),” Tomar told IANS.

“Things look good only in limits. What’s the point in protesting when the matter has been referred to the ethics committee,” Tomar said, referring to Sharma’s remark against Lamba.

Sharma was suspended for the entire winter session and his case was referred to the assembly’s ethics panel but the AAP legislators kept protesting and demanded he be jailed.

Pushkar echoed this view.

“I am most obedient to the constitutional system. And I am the most active in the assembly,” Pushkar maintained.

“Why should I be the part of protest which is foolish? Once you have sent the matter to the ethics committee, how can you demand jail for him,” he asked.

Col. Sehrawat and Khan could not be contacted for their views despite several attempts.

Interestingly, Pushkar has been active only in opposing his party’s proposed bills in the assembly – so much so, that Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had to suspend him for two days.

The legislator, who openly supported Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav when they were expelled from the AAP, has taken on the party on various issues.

Like Pushkar, Col. Sehrawat too had rallied behind Yadav and Bhushan at the time of their expulsion in March, pitting himself against the party.

Tomar, whom the AAP shielded in the fake law degree case for a long time, was left to fend for himself after his arrest. He was asked to resign as the law minister.

A miffed Kejriwal had said that Tomar kept him in the dark.

Kejriwal summarily sacked Khan as the food minister during a press conference for demanding a bribe. Khan had said that he was the a “victim of internal politics”.


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Kejriwal exposed as a liar: BJP leader

He also accused Kejriwal of hatching a conspiracy to mislead people by playing the emotional card of apology

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, VOA
  • Arvind Kejriwal apologised to Bikram Singh Majithia
  • BJP leader says that this apology established himself
  • BJP also alleged that Kejriwal did nothing while state aced so many problems

A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal apologised to former Punjab Minister Bikram Singh Majithia for alleging that he was involved in the drug trade, the BJP Delhi unit on Friday said he has exposed himself as a “liar”.

The BJP also alleged that he was doing nothing even while the people of the national capital were facing a number of issues due to sealing.

Arvind Kejriwal apologized to Bikram Singh Majithia. IANS

Addressing a press conference here, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi unit President Manoj Tiwari said: ” What we have been saying for long has been proved today. He is a liar. He has apologised to Majithia for making false allegations against him.”

“He is on his way to apologise to (Union Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley ji and (Union Transport Minister) Nitin Gadkari ji for making false allegations,” the BJP leader said. Kejriwal is facing defamation cases in court for levelling allegations against Jaitley and Gadkari.

Also Read: BJP Protests Outside Sisodia’s Residence, Demands Kejriwal’s Resignation

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief on Thursday apologised to the Shiromani Akali Dal leader in Punjab for making allegations of involvement in the drug trade, following which the latter said that he will withdraw a defamation suit filed in an Amristar court.

Tiwari, who represents the northeast Delhi constituency in the Lok Sabha, accused Kejriwal of misleading the people over the ongoing sealing drive in the national capital.

BJP MLA Vijender Gupta accused the AAP chief of only rendering “lip service” on the sealing drive and urged the Chief Minister to hold an all-party meeting with the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring committee overseeing the drive.

“Since December last, Kejriwal is only doing lip service on the issue of sealing drive. He has done nothing to stop it,” Gupta, the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, said.

He said that though Lt Governor Anil Baijal cleared the file for notifying 351 roads in the capital on February 8, the matter is still pending. “Why hasn’t he (Kejriwal) notified the 351 roads in the last 45 days?” Gupta asked.

BJP leaders are calling this apology a gimmick.

He also accused Kejriwal of hatching a conspiracy to mislead people by playing the emotional card of apology. Gupta warned the Monitoring Committee members not to act outside the law and said: “If the monitoring committee acts against law, then the BJP will oppose it.”

“We are going to inform the three municipal corporations of Delhi not to follow the commands of the Monitoring Committee if it goes against the law,” he said. “The MCDs should approach the court and also make Kejriwal a party,” the BJP leader added. IANS