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Arvind Kejriwal leaves a legacy

| by Iftikhar Gilani

Did he play 'martyr' politics or he was the 'real' victim?

( February 16, 2014, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) In 48 days of his regime, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal threatened to resign at least on three occasions. On 49th day, the stage was set at Aam Aadmi Party's headquarter office located at Hanuman Road near Connaught Place for Kejriwal to announce his resignation.

For Delhiites and nation, it was a 49-day long theatre play. Major announcements were made. And on occasions, Kejriwal even backed out.

Soon after the election, on December 23, 2013, Kejriwal swore on his children and announced that his party would neither team up with the Congress nor the BJP. But six days later on December 29, he took over as the CM of Delhi, with unconditional support of the Congress party.

Before the election, CM had announced that he did not need any security or a government accommodation. He had also said that he and his ministers would use the public transport to commute. But within weeks, two police jeeps carrying 10 Delhi policemen were following Kejriwal for his security.

He criticised his predecessor Shiela Dikshit and his ministers for taking lavish independent houses. But Kejriwal himself wrote and asked for a 10-room house. He, however, and moved to a five- bed room house at posh Bhagwan Dass Road, when he came under pressure from his own party men.

On the first day, Kejriwal and his jamboree took Metro to swear in as chief ministers and ministers. But next day they took everybody for a ride, when they jumped into their respective official vehicles.

While Kejriwal announced 660 litres of free water, the government also made a quiet 10 percent hike in surcharge on water tariff.

In one-and-a-half-month, the AAP government did not have any solution for cheap power. Like the Congress, Kejriwal too announced a fifty percent subsidy for consumers consuming less than 400 units of power, only to add on more burden to the government exchequer. His Janata Darbar also fell flat. First deciding to hold the Darbar in the secretariat building, the decision was taken to hold it on the road. Finally it was quashed after one such meet.

Not only did Kejriwal, but his ministers too were indulged in theatrics.

Law Minister Somnath Bharti first announced a meeting with the judges, but he later withdrew his decision. Rakhi Birla filed an FIR against unknown for attacking her car at Mangolpuri area. As the event unfolded, it was revealed that it was a ball of young boys playing on the streets which hit the car, the boys had soon apologised. Later Kejriwal and Birla apologised for the incident.

Kejriwal who claimed that he formed the government after taking consent from his voters, forgot to take the consent before finalising the Jan Lokpal Bill and the Swaraj Bill. These bills were not even put in the public domain, despite constant demands from the resident welfare associations of Delhi. On Friday when he decided to quit, he did not hold any public meetings to decide, if he should quit or continue.

Kejriwal on day one, even tried to ban the media from entering the secretariats building, but soon took a U turn. He and his ministers announced that they would wear the AAP caps to the secretariats, but soon withdrew its decision.

Sitting on a dharma, outside the Rail Bhawan, four days before the Republic Day, to shield one MLA, caused him the maximum embarrassment. AAP MLA Somnath Bharti, midnight conducted a raid at Khirki Extension, without the permission of the local police. Instead to nailing his minister, the CM demanded first suspension then transfer of the cops on duty. Kejriwal had appealed his followers to join the protest. Soon to realise, that his appeal did not gather the expected crowd, he negotiated with the centre only to send the cops on four weeks leave.

To save himself from embarrassment and to become a martyr, Kejriwal called the Congress and the BJP as agents of Mukesh Ambani. Earlier this week, he even asked the Anti Corruption Branch of Delhi Government to file an FIR against Mukesh Ambani, Union law minister and his predecessor.

But he decided to abandon to follow the FIR that he proudly announced in a press conference. Is it his aspirations for national politics that led Kejriwal to sacrifice his Delhi government?

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