Kejriwal's soft killer instincts

By Vijaya Pushkarna



Arvind Kejriwal's  growth will count among, if not as the most significant contributor  to the Aam Aadmi party's spectacular victory in  the Delhi assembly elections. Even if they have got a few seats and votes less than they garnered in 2015, he was pitted against the most venemous and divisive campaign any politician or party has faced in independent India __ including the time around the anti Sikh riots, the demolition of Babri Masjid.

Five years ago, Kejriwal had the blessings and  the benefit of Anna Hazare's movement against corruption. This time, the AAP has incumbency and are being judged on their performance, specifically, governance in the National Capital territory.

Kejriwal has in a sense been like Modi__ focussed. Modi possibly has a ear only for his long time Gujju buddy , Amit Shah, whom he brought along to Delhi, first as the president of the BJP, and later as  Home Minister of India. Kejriwal may listen to a few more, but if AAP sources are to be believed, Manish Sisodia is to him what Shah is to Modi. Thank God, Shah and Sisodia are as different as chalk and cheese.The Delhi chief minister did not brand it the way Modi branded his "Man ki Baat", but his voice was a familiar and frequent one on FM channels every time a scheme was launched or altered. He always came across as one of the citizens. And  there the similarity between Modi and Kejriwal seems to end.

 For one, Kejriwal has not shown the desperation to win, by hook or crook. And he has not shed his qualities of a gentleman. He was very  quick to realise Indians by and large value cultured__ sanskari__ good behaviour. One example is your conduct with your seniors. Note how he has "modi"fied his references to Prime minister Modi. There is generally no mention of him in Kejriwal' s speeches, certainly no outburst against him. At the height of the Delhi campaign, the Chief Minister silenced the Pak efforts to take advantage of the intensity of rallies in the capital, saying Modi was prime minister of India, his PM too and Delhi elections are an internal matter of India.

Kejriwal has also ensured he did not get into the communal debate, the CAA,NRC etc despite the constant provocation. Hark back to the times when the slightest provocation would have resulted in the " Mufflerman" launching a protest. This time, his Delhi has the biggest protest underway in Shaheen Bagh, but Kejriwal has distanced himself: on ground that law and order in the capital is under the Home ministry.

In fact  he presented himself as the responsible eldest son doing his duty  by his  family: ensuring good schools, medical facilities, safe bus rides for women, affordable and subsidised electricity and water for all, and even pilgrimage for the seniors.And all of Delhi was his family.

Voters have picked that elder son, not the aggressively  posturing people shouting Hindutva , tukde tukde, anti_ Muslim, they_will_rape you etc rhetoric.Equally they have liked politics of performance over noisy rhetoric and empty promises. Remember "achche din"? Rs 15 lakhs into each Indian's account? 1 crore jobs a year? Six years later, people are waiting for these. But the mohalla clinics, free water, subsidised electricity,free busrides, doorstep delivery of government services etc are felt experiences of the Delhi voters.

It may be argued that in May last, Modi bettered his party's Lok Sabha performance over that in 2014, while Kejriwal has dropped a few seats. But it is worth remembering that the BJP in the summer of 2019 faced a fragmented opposition whose members were squabbling, and a Congress that was, and continues to be in a free fall.

However narrow the AAP margins,  pitted against Arvind Kejriwal now was the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, most cabinet members and ministers of State, the BJP chief ministers and former chief ministers,  270 Members of Parliament. Spicing them up were badminton star Saina Nehwal,  wrestler Babita Phogat ,a couple of others from the world of sports and films and of course, a few kids of senior Congressmen! Kejriwal apart, AAM had Sisodia and Aatishi!!

At the end of the day, people of Delhi have expressed themselves in favour of a   secular democracy. Like...we the people of India.

Comments

  1. यह कहानी थी दिये और तूफ़ान की. और दीया जीत गया. आम आदमी जिन्दाबाद.

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