Amid reports that a number of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs have met with senior Congress party leaders, Colonel Devinder Sehrawat confirmed to HuffPost India that he had been in touch with "all other parties," including Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United).
The MLA representing Delhi's Bijwasan constituency, who has always had an uneasy equation with the AAP leadership, also claimed that a "large group" of AAP MLAs was meeting with other political parties, either individually or in groups.
Sehrawat said that rebellion was brewing inside the party because power was concentrated in the hands of Kejriwal and his "small coterie of supporters," and that had left lawmakers feeling helpless and worried about their political future.
"The local leadership is not allowed to flourish. MLAs cut sorry figures before the public. Kejriwal is proving himself to be a worse dictator than Mayawati," he said.
The Punjab and Goa defeats were proof that those at the "helm of affairs are proving themselves to be incompetent," the lawmaker added. "The failure is due to the shortcomings of the CM which is leading to a debacle," he said. "Instead of concentrating on his work, he spends too much time abusing the prime minister. It was alright at first, but now the whole thing is becoming like a school child abusing his principal."
The 51-year-old AAP MLA has been at loggerheads with the party leadership for the past year. Earlier, he had refused to sign a two-page letter seeking the removal of founder members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.
In September last year, Sehrawat wrote to Kejriwal accusing some AAP leaders of exploiting women with the promise of a party ticket for the Punjab Assembly elections. The accusation led to his suspension from the primary membership of the party. AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak filed a defamation case against him in Punjab.
Another twist came in October in the form a purported letter from Sehrawat's father to Kejriwal, which surfaced on social media, saying that his son was "mentally ill" and had demanded money from him at gunpoint. Earlier this month, Sehrawat moved the Supreme Court against AAP for tarnishing his image by "planting" media stories against him. He also filed a petition in the court asking to be declared an independent lawmaker.
Sehrawat claimed that AAP was going against the principles on which it was founded and brought up the recent accusations of misuse of public money for the party's promotion. He also said that Kejriwal had not lived up to his promise of maintaining a frugal lifestyle when in power. "There is a problem with Arvind Kejriwal and he has to go," he said.
The run up to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls in April has already seen some party hopping among municipal councillors. The AAP councillor from Nanakpura, Anil Malik, joined the Congress in February. And, on Tuesday, the BJP councillor from Govindpuri, Chander Prakash, switched to the Congress party. Earlier this week, the AAP lawmaker from Bawana, Ved Prakash, joined the BJP.
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