- 'No one would believe Kejriwal took bribe,' says the AAP leader
- Complaints should be aired in party forum and not publicly, he added
- Sacked minister Kapil Mishra alleged corruption charges on Mr Kejriwal
At a press conference this morning, Mr Mishra, known to be close to Mr Vishwas, said he has seen health minister Satyendra Jain hand over Rs 2 crore in cash to Mr Kejriwal. His allegations triggered a political storm, with the BJP demanding the Chief Minister's resignation and the Congress calling for an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
"It's wrong to level wild allegations publicly. I am personally hurt by these allegations. Even workers are hurt," said Mr Vishwas, who was on the brink of walking out from the party last week after allegations of conspiracy from legislator Amanatullah Khan.
During the crisis, the Chief Minister had called Mr Vishwas a "younger brother" who would never turn against him. Today, Mr Vishwas said, "I have known Kejriwal for 12 years. I can't think that he will indulge in corruption".
Taking a page from the Chief Minister's book, who reiterated last week that complaints should be aired in party forum and not publicly, Mr Vishwas said Mr Mishra should put his case to the Political Affairs Committee, the party's top decision-making body. "I have called Kapil Mishra to come and meet me... We are ready for any probe," Mr Vishwas said.
Talking in public fora had triggered the last crisis of AAP, which had been reeling after three consecutive election defeats - the assembly polls in Punjab and Goa and the Delhi civic polls. As Mr Kejriwal initially attributed the losses to tampered Electronic Voting Machines, Mr Vishwas said Mr Kejriwal was surrounded by "yes men" and on their advice, blamed EVMs. Mr Mishra was one of the leaders who sided with him at the time.
Within a day, Mr Khan had accused him of angling him for the top post and conspiring to walk off to the BJP with a chunk of legislators if he failed. An upset Mr Vishwas was on the verge of quitting the party. The matter was sorted only after Mr Kejriwal reached out to him and Mr Khan was suspended.