On Wednesday, poet Kumar Vishwas tried to snare Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal by claiming that in 2017, he (Kejriwal) had told him he would “either be the Chief Minister of Punjab or the Prime Minister of Khalistan”.
“Punjab is not a state, but an emotion. Before the last assembly elections in Punjab, I had told him not to hobnob with or take support of separatist elements. But he didn’t listen to me. He told me such disgusting things. One day he even told me he would either become the Chief Minister of Punjab or the first Prime Minister of Khalistan,” Vishwas claimed in an interview.
His comments have come 4 days before Punjab is going to polls for all 117 seats. His inflammatory remark is surely aimed at harming the AAP’s electoral prospects in Punjab that is why he has chosen to make this particular allegation just before the polls. This not only casts aspersions on his motive, but also the veracity of the statement.
Firstly, according to Vishwas, Kejriwal allegedly made this statement to him more than five years ago (before the last assembly polls in Punjab), so why has it taken him so long to reveal this? Why was he silent for more than five years about an issue (separatists in Punjab) which is so pernicious? Secondly, why did he choose to remain in AAP if he genuinely was so disgusted by this comment? Why didn’t he quit the party immediately?
Thirdly, does it sound believable that a politician as shrewd as Kejriwal would make such a reckless comment casually? Yes, Kejriwal back then was accused by the opposition parties of hobnobbing with some separatist elements, an accusation he vehemently denied. Kejriwal is not saint – no one is in politics – but did he really harbour the ambition of becoming the first PM of ‘Khalistan’, as alleged by Vishwas?
Also, why hasn’t Vishwas informed security agencies if Kejriwal really made this statement? The issue separatism has been a festering sore for Punjab. Thousands of people died during the 1970s and 1980s at the hands of extremists. If Vishwas is certain that Kejriwal was actively supporting the cause of ‘Khalistan’, shouldn’t he have informed security agencies about this extremely grave matter?
Interestingly, Vishwas had tendered an apology to the followers of extremist Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the proponent of Khalistan movement who had unleashed bloodbath in the state, after calling him ‘Bhasmasur’. Why did he kowtow to the followers of Bhindranwale? Didn’t he do the same thing he is accusing Kejriwal of?
Vishwas has also been served notice a couple of times for cracking derogatory remarks against Sikhs.
He has often made flippant and sexist comments about women in politics. In 2017, a complaint was filed against him after he made sexist comment about women on the Kapil Sharma Show.
“Jis samay chunav hota hai, to apne colony mein politician logon ko badi dikkat hoti hai. Matlab jis ladki se aapka affair chalao uske pati ko bhi jijaji kehna padta hai, jijaji vote de dena samaan to aap le hi gaye. (For a politician it is really difficult to seek vote in his own colony. He has no option but to address the husband of the woman he likes as jijaji. Jijaji please do vote),” he had said.
Vishwas should come forward and answer all these questions, instead of shooting from the hip. And more importantly, he must corroborate his serious allegation with substantive evidence. Else, he is only being hoisted by his own petard.