NEW DELHI: A fresh round of tussle may erupt in the Aam Aadmi Party as its MLA Amanatullah Khan, who was recently suspended from the party for attacking senior leader Kumar Vishwas, has been appointed the chairman of a panel of the Delhi Assembly. Khan, the MLA from Okhla, has also been appointed a member of seven newly constituted committees, including the Special Inquiry Committee, of the House by the Speaker.
The move is seemed to have been taken to placate Khan, considered as a prominent Muslim face in the party. An MLA, who had spoken in favour of Vishwas, termed Khan’s appointment as a “promotion”. The members of these committees are appointed with the tacit approval of the ruling party. The party said the appointment of members to these committees was the “prerogative” of the Speaker.
Khan had accused Vishwas of being an “RSS-BJP agent” and plotting a coup in the party. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia had to convince Vishwas who had insisted on stern action against Khan. He had also threatened to quit the party. By suspending Khan, a “mask”, Vishwas had tried attacking the “coterie” who was hatching “conspiracy” against him. By suspending Khan, the party also averted a major crisis.
Sisodia had visited Khan at this residence, just hours after his suspension from the party. However, with the appointment of Khan to these committees, the party could face a fresh crisis as many MLAs were believed to be backing Vishwas.
Sources in the party said all AAP legislators including Somnath Bharti, Alka Lamba and Bhavna Gaur, who had backed Vishwas, have been accommodated in the Library Committee. It is, however, not considered as prestigious with the panel having little work to do. Bharti, who had openly advocated a greater role for Vishwas in the party, was removed as the Chairman of the Privileges Committee and Kailash Gehlot appointed in his place.
Sources close to Vishwas declined to react to this development but indicated that the leader, who has pacified just two days ago, is unhappy over the development. “With this development, the leadership has sought to send a message that it backs Amanatullah and has given him a promotion. Whoever gave statements in favour of Vishwas have been cut to size,” an MLA who had backed Vishwas said.