Congress today lost one of its most formidable Purvanchali faces in Delhi to the Aam Aadmi Party, ahead of civic polls. Former West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra, who was also elected as an MLA in the Delhi assembly thrice while he was in Congress, joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s public meeting in Paharganj on Sunday.
Mishra highlighted the structural problems in Congress that forced him to move on from the party where he gave decades of his life. “Congress doesn’t need grassroot workers. The significance of grassroots workers has diminished in this party over the years.” he told The New Indian in exclusive chat.
Former West Delhi MP and 3-time MLA Mahabal Mishra quits Congress to join @AamAadmiParty.
His son @vinaymishra_aap is AAP MLA from Dwarka.
"Some leaders couldn't digest the rise of a 'purvanchali' leader in Delhi"- @mahabalmishra
— The New Indian (@TheNewIndian_in) November 20, 2022
A senior Congress leader, Mishra was a strong influence in West Delhi, especially in Dwarka. His son, Vinay Mishra, had quit the Congress and joined AAP before the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections and won from the Dwarka constituency, from which his father was an MLA.
The main point of conflict between Mishra and the local leadership in Delhi was his son contesting on AAP ticket in 2020. He was suspended for anti-party activities. “It is not uncommon for members of the same family to contest on tickets from different parties. You look at so many examples. There were members in CWC whose relatives were contesting on a different party ticket and yet no action was taken against them,” he said.
The Congress had suspended Mishra in early 2020 for anti-party activities for allegedly helping his son during his election campaign. “Other people even campaigned for their relatives. I didn’t even campaign for my son. What was the reason to suspend me? Some leaders in Delhi could not digest the rise of a Purvanchali,” he said.
He is inspired by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s style of functioning. Targeting the BJP for calling AAP’s freebie promises as “revadi culture” he said, “When BJP waives off loans of rich people it isn’t revadi cuture, but when AAP provides better education, health and basic facilities for free they have a problem,” he said.
“Today every party is promising 300 units of free electricity in their election manifesto. If AAP’s model wouldn’t be successful why would these parties adopt it,” he asked.
Mishra joining the party before MCD elections could be seen as a major political development as far the ‘poorvanchali’ votes are concerned.
Delhi has 30 lakh people from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Mishra’s son Vinay Mishra, who is already an AAP MLA from Dwarka. He welcomed the move of his father.
Later, Vinay tweeted, “When I joined Aam Aadmi Party, father was very angry, I told him, this is a party of common people, they have a vision for the public, one day you will also have to come, and today he joined.”