Former AAP minister Kapil Mishra joins BJP

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NEW DELHI: Former minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government and disqualified MLA Kapil Mishra alongwith Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) women’s wing chief Richa Pandey joined the BJP here on Saturday.

The duo was welcomed by BJP national vice president Shyam Jaju and Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwari at the party’s office on Pant Marg.

“I welcome Kapil Mishra and Richa Pandey into BJP and hope they will serve Delhi by following the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and philosophy of Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Syama Prasad Mookerjee,” Tiwari said.

Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel earlier this month had disqualified Mishra under the anti-defection law after he campaigned for the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections in May.

Mishra, elected from Karawalnagar seat, has challenged his disqualification in Delhi High court.

Speculations over Mishra joining the BJP were making rounds since he started criticising the AAP supremo after being removed as a minister in May 2017.

Subsequently, he grew close to many Delhi BJP leaders and often shared the stage with them at public events.

We remain vindicated: AAP on Kapil Mishra joining BJP

The AAP said on Saturday that it remains vindicated after Kapil Mishra, a former minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government, switched sides as he was enacting all the “theatrics” produced and directed by the BJP.

Speculations about Mishra joining the BJP were doing rounds ever since he started criticising Kejriwal after being removed as a minister in May 2017. He grew close to many Delhi BJP leaders and often shared stage with them.

Reacting to him joining the BJP, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said the party is glad that Mishra’s “mask” is off.

“We are glad that he has taken off his mask today. We stand vindicated that he was enacting all theatrics for drama produced and directed by the BJP,” Bhardwaj said in a statement.

“This is trademark politics of BJP and is a new normal in Indian politics,” he said.

Bhardwaj also alleged that there were allegations against Mishra that as minister in charge for Delhi Jal Board he tried to sabotage the party’s prospects in MCD elections.

“We had first hand information that he was working as an agent of the BJP,” Bhardwaj claimed.

“I called his bluff by getting him disqualified as an MLA. Even last week at the High Court, he was accusing the speaker of bias while maintaining he has nothing to do with BJP,” he said.

On AAP leader Richa Pandey Mishra joining the BJP, Bhardwaj said it was unfortunate that she “broke the trust” reposed on her by the party.

“However, we warmly wish her a good peaceful life wherever she goes,” he said.

Source: Press Trust of India