Thousands of people who supported Arvind Kejriwal unconditionally, thinking he is a lone warrior in the fight against corruption have lost faith in him without an ounce of doubt. And if people are upset with the man it is simply because Kejri is not the same man anymore! The man who promised to wipe dirty politician and politics has joined the bandwagon. Kejriwal’s hypocrisy has been nailed by the report of Shunglu Committee. The report which in detail has highlighted the instances where the common man leader has misused the power’s bestowed on him by the people.
Breaking away from anti-corruption movement
Kejriwal broke away from the national movement which Anna led and decided to form a political party Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Anna was very clear that he did not want to be a part of the politics and would fight his battle from the outside. AAP was formed in 2012. AAP gave a hope to people that politics in India need not be murky and can be clean and corruption free. His and AAP’s ideology gave people hope, more and more people started wearing the Gandhian cap saying, ‘Mein Aam Aadmi hu’. Soon after AAP contested the Assembly elections in 2013, managed to bag 28 seats and form the government. Kejriwal took the oath as the chief minister of Delhi in December the same year.
The first stint didn’t last long and within 49 days Kejriwal resigned from the office, thwarted from introducing the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill. In a letter sent to President Pranab Mukherjee through Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, Mr Kejriwal recommended the “immediate conduct” of elections. For a year Delhi was under the President’s rule and in February 2015 the capital of the country again had the chance to elect their chief minister and their Assembly representatives. AAP won the elections comprehensively managing to bag 67 of 70 seats in the state. And just like his win, his tenure was also resounding but his tenure was resounding for all the wrong reasons.
His tenure has been a combination of failed promises, internal fights, corrupts leaders and controversies. Soon people realised that for Kejriwal, he and his ego was far bigger than ‘aam aadmi ideology and the need to fight the other corrupt political parties. Kejriwal soon forgot the reason why he started the party. The reason why he was admired and loved so much. Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav accused Kejriwal of not keeping transparency in the organisation. According to them, all decisions were controlled by one man, Kejriwal himself. When Avam – a body formed by disgruntled AAP supporters – exposed shell companies that had given donations worth Rs 2 crores to the Kejriwal camp, he responded that the matter would be probed by AAP’s internal Lokpal. How fair the process would be is anybody’s guess.
Many allegations were made against the dominating leadership of Kejriwal. When Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, founding members of AAP, along with two other senior leaders, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha, questioned the leadership and behaviour of Kejriwal, they were expelled from the party in March 2015. This further made a dent in the public image of Kejriwal.
Before things settled down, a farmer committed suicide at a party rally. Ashutosh made an appearance on the news channel and wept for the death of the farmer, Gajendra Singh, the images of which still are found on social media, he was slammed on social media for his party’s insensitivity. Kejriwal later apologised for continuing the rally and said he should have stopped after the incident happened.
Kejri vs Bassi
Kejriwal also had a constant battle with the Delhi police, Kejriwal kept mentioning that the city was not in safe hands citing that Delhi police chief B S Bassi was not competent enough. The relations between the Delhi government and police went further downhill when a raid was conducted at Delhi’s former law minister Somnath Bharti’s house.
Odd and Even formula of the Kejriwal government to keep the pollution in check in the city has been one of the most talking points of his tenure. The move was criticised by many. Though the pollution might not have reduced the traffic congestion in the city was eased. However, when AAP held a rally to proclaim the success of the Odd and Even scheme, Kejriwal was thrown ink at by a woman, further becoming a joke on the social media.
Punjab and Goa debacle
Failing to fulfil his promises, Kejriwal decided to move his focus to Punjab and Goa for the state elections. He was hoping to govern the two states without realising that he has failed to govern the state that he was elected from. Failing to fulfil promises in Delhi has a huge impact on the state Assembly elections in Punjab and Goa. AAP lost miserably as expected from the experts. Kejriwal had a strong manifesto in Goa and Punjab which he promised to fulfil once he is elected to power but promises were not enough, his lack of commitment in fulfilling the promises he made in Delhi was out in the open to see for everyone. Kejri wanted to get ahead of BJP and Congress too soon, he was hoping to fly before he could walk.
Battle with Jung
Kejriwal’s constant battle with the Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung was a constant headline in the capital. Fed up of the fights, Jung decided to call it quits from the Governor’s post. AAP government was also in the news for hiring people with fake degrees. Law minister Jitender Singh Tomar’s fake degree scandal also did not do too well for Kejriwal’s image. After giving Delhi a relief in power tariff, Kejriwal’s own electricity bill amounted to Rs 91,000 in over two months, as revealed in an RTI reply. He has been accused of spending public money on self-publicity campaigns, bills for which are running into crores of rupees. Another RTI revealed that the AAP government spent around Rs 526 crore on radio advertisements over one financial year. Self-publicity with people’s money should amount to corruption.
AAP also lost MCD polls, and just like after losing Punjab and Goa elections the party is constantly blaming EVM machines rather than introspecting, and realising why they started out in the first place. Kejriwal and his party, the party that gave people hope that the political scenario in the country can be transparent and non-murky, has been reduced to a joke of sorts.