KEJRIWAL IS DOING MANY THINGS. KEJRIWAL IS NOT DOING ANYTHING.

Arvind Kejriwal’s government is doing many things.

Arvind Kejriwal’s government is not doing anything.

Both perspectives have their proponents and opponents. And that is ironical about it.

We did not hear the ‘rush to reform’ the system by the Aam Aadmi Party government like it was the last time. Apart from some populist measures of offering subsidies on electricity and water tariffs, the AAP government has done nothing significant. And it is going to complete 100 days in office on May 24.

During the campaigning phase, Arvind Kejriwal could easily be seen apologizing for deserting Delhi in just 49 days. And at the same time, he could be seen trying to sell the goodwill of those 49 days.

And after results, he found those 49 days a ‘better than thought’ proposition. We can find a link even on the AAP website talking achievements of the 49 days rule.

Yes, it is true the 49 days rule played a major role in better than expected poll outcome for the AAP. But the ‘better than expected’ results also tell that it was not an entirely won battle.

Because vote share of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) more or less remained the same.

And almost entire vote share of Congress went to the AAP. The BJP could not win it or a share of it, owing to its lackluster show during the President’s rule in Delhi through the Lieutenant-Governor.

That is not going to happen again. And there are reasons for it.

The AAP’s confrontationist approach figures majorly among that. Right from its inception, the AAP has been engaged in a sort of confrontationist politics. The AAP leaders kept on issuing statements against the Congress leaders even if its first government (the government of 49 days) was in office with Congress’s support.

They continue to do so, targeting everyone who is non-AAP politically (and administratively).

The AAP tried to create an atmosphere where it looked engaged in an anti-establishment confrontational politics even if it was taking or trying to take Congress’s support. It successfully created veil of a populist pro-common men approach.

And it followed some of it during its first, now hallowed 49 days of government, though, with errors.

Sample this – Arvind Kejriwal decided to end the VVIP culture in Delhi. He said he would not take the chief minister’s bungalow and other arrangements. His MLAs or he himself contradicted this stand. He was hooted on social media for accepting a VIP accommodation. It forced him to make U-turn on it. A larger than life Kejriwal, present on banners, posters and hoardings, on every nook and corner of Delhi, appealed Delhiites, from common men to auto drivers, to film corrupt officials on hidden cameras. His government took action against such officials. He offered subsidies for electricity and water for the months left in the year. To prove his political activism, he offered to give subsidies to them who had not paid their electricity bills on his request, before he became the CM. He also filed case against a prominent corporate house alleging corruption in fixing petroleum prices. And he reasoned his resignation behind a similar issue – on Jan Lokpal. He alleged the present political class of the time was not supporting his cause.

But after the humiliation of the Lok Sabha polls where his party created a record of ‘forfeitures’, he had to come back to Delhi again. He tried to form the government there, again with Congress’s support, if we go by the reports. Like this option had to fail, and it failed. All this while, he was preparing for the next Delhi assembly polls, well in advance. All this while, he maintained a confrontationist attitude, visible to us, enveloping it in his apology for deserting Delhi in just 49 days.

And the residents of Delhi, disappointed with the BJP in Delhi and fed-up of Congress, believed in him, in his apology and in his confrontationist approach, giving him 67 out of 70 assembly seats.

That was it.

Kejriwal’s government is completing 100 days this time and there is nothing to talk about.

The tenure that has come after many promises is looking more like a naturalization process and the AAP has been co-opted by the Indian politics of the day, which they talked of changing when they began.

He and his partymen accepted VVIP accommodations and made no fuss about it. They even needed a separate VVIP corridor during events. Corruption is as usual in Delhi. Kejriwal’s full-time government has not brought any change to that. At least we are yet to feel it. He has given electricity and water subsidies but even people are not talking about it anymore. He made larger than life promises to win Delhi but then felt it would be enough if he could deliver even 40%/50% of that.

After taking the reins for the second time, with a full-time government, he is making news, but mostly due to negative reasons. His anti-establishment attitude, something that was behind his ‘anarchist’ proclamation, is now looking rubbish, stale, so routine and selfish.

He is completing 100 days of governance and he has nothing else to talk but electricity and water subsidies. And that too sounds ineffective now. The cruel Delhi summers are already witnessing protests over water and electricity shortage.

He promised Delhiites full statehood and many projects for which lands were needed. Now, everyone knows Centre cannot give full statehood to Delhi, cannot give the Delhi Police under the Delhi government and cannot leave land to the state government in a state that is also the National Capital of India. Even Sheila Dikshit, Kejriwal’s predecessor, could not achieve full statehood or could not get the Delhi Police under her control even if she had three full terms in office and even if Congress led the Union Government from 2004 to 2014.

Yes, Delhi is a half state and is also the most important Indian city where people of national and international importance reside. It had offices and institutions that go beyond the Delhi CM and need to be looked after by the Central government.

And Delhi has to be governed like that. The confrontationist approach will not work here. The BJP government at Union level, with the BJP being the main opposition in Delhi makes matters in Delhi even worse.

Kejriwal needed an approach of reconciliation and needed to work with the Union Government for the development of Delhi. He needs land that is under the BJP government. He needs cooperation of the Delhi Police that is under the BJP led Ministry of Home Affairs. Full statehood demand was not a practical one. Delhi being the half state and the seat of the Government of India, he needs assistance from the Central government. For, for his own political career, he needed to consolidate the Delhi gains first.

Instead, he has chosen confrontation. And he is not sparing even his own officials and media here.

And a credibility crisis for him has made his every act look like a sham – an atmosphere of credibility that had given him the advantage earlier (including this election).

He first stage-managed and then got Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, the two senior-most members, who along-with him had formed the party and weaved the Anna Hazare led anti-corruption movement of 2011, kicked out. The AAP of the day is clearly a one-man show which doesn’t go beyond Arvind Kejriwal (and will not go beyond Delhi if something is not done).

Then he adopted silence after a farmer’s suicide at his rally that was organized to launch the AAP protests against the NDA’s land acquisition bill. His reaction came very late. The incident fizzled out the AAP protests against land acquisition.

In both incidents, it was clearly visible that he was not doing pro-people politics. He was not setting any precedent. Instead, he was doing pure politics, and going even beyond ‘them’. Whether it was in him or whether it came upon him is not what matters. What matters is that he is sounding more and more incredulous and routine now.

And the latest episode of the appointment of acting chief secretary of Delhi, too, is being seen in this context.

Delhi’s chief secretary K. K. Sharma is on leave for 10 days and the Delhi government needs to appoint someone as the acting chief secretary in his absence. There are valid questions over rights of the Delhi L-G and the Delhi CM on the issue and the unprecedented alertness shown by the Delhi L-G.

But Kejriwal is not finding support here. And when writing so, it means public support. He is not getting public support on any of the vital issues in his manifesto – full statehood to Delhi, Delhi Police under his control or the issue of Delhi land for new hospitals and educational institutions.

This time, he has, so far, not launched any public agitation, like he had launched the one against the Delhi Police during his government of 49 days. The one where he tried backfired due to his ill management and a farmer’s suicide. And in spite of a war of letters, he is not going to launch the next even the Union Government is imposing itself on Delhi in case of the acting chief secretary issue.

He needs a practical approach here but then he himself has closed the doors.

The L-G will say yes. The CM will say no. And 10 days will pass. Only Kejriwal and his men know why they are bad-naming and badmouthing about Shakuntla Gamlin who the Delhi L-G has appointed while K. K. Sharma is away. Even if his Government is not agreed to it, her appointment is according to the choices of names by the Delhi Government. And she is not alone. The war is engulfing others. The Delhi civil services officers are facing heat in this war in the war between the Delhi L-G and the Delhi CM. Removal of the official who issued appointment order for Shakuntala Gamlin has already been rejected by the Delhi L-G and it is to be seen how the Delhi government reacts next.

Irrespective of the question of a Constitutional Crisis, the matter will further harm Kejriwal’s chances in Delhi and beyond. His government is doing petty politics over a woman official and is levelling allegations without proof. If she is corrupt, as is being said (by people like Arvind Kejriwal), why is she still there?

Kejriwal thinks he is safe for five years now. But he has to face a government at the Union level that is of the main political opposition in Delhi. And he has to face an aggressive Rahul Gandhi. He got almost votes of Congress this time but that will not happen in the next polls.

And to make matters worse for him, he will be facing anti-incumbency (huge, as he has promised Delhi many things that he cannot give) and a deteriorated credibility base.

He has proven he is not the kind the politician Delhiites had thought of and voted for. He is same, from the lot. He has proven he is not different.

The irony is Arvind Kejriwal thinks his government is doing many things.

The irony is Arvind Kejriwal has failed, so far, to do anything for Delhi.

The irony is he has started attracting negative public sentiments.

And the irony of all ironies is – his mainstreaming is complete even if he has no means to further his political career. He thinks Delhi voters will forget his misdeeds in five years – when the next elections come. He thinks such things will not go beyond Delhi. And if he thinks so, he is committing the same mistake as his political brethren did. He has seen what happened to the Congress across the country. He has seen what happened to the BJP in just nine months in Delhi. And he has seen his own party’s humiliation in the Lok Sabha polls last year.

Yes, the full-time politician in him is out there and with force but even he is not advising him the right course.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

KEJRIWAL’S CONFRONTATIONAL ATTITUDE

Arvind Kejriwal’s government is doing many things.

Arvind Kejriwal’s government is not doing anything.

Both perspectives have their proponents and opponents. And that is ironical about it.

We did not hear the ‘rush to reform’ the system by the Aam Aadmi Party government like it was the last time. Apart from some populist measures of offering subsidies on electricity and water tariffs, the AAP government has, so far, done nothing significant. And that too sounds ineffective when we see the increasing number of protests against water and electricity shortage with the rising temperature in soaring summer heat of Delhi.

Kejriwal’s government is completing 100 days this time and there is nothing to talk about. Instead, he already has enough of negative pointers on his part.

He and his partymen accepted VVIP accommodations and made no fuss about it. They even needed a separate VVIP corridor during events. Corruption is as usual in Delhi. Kejriwal’s full-time government has not brought any change to that. He has given electricity and water subsidies but even people are not talking about it anymore. He made larger than life promises to win Delhi but then felt it would be enough if he could deliver even 40%/50% of that.

After taking the reins for the second time, with a full-time government, he is making news, but mostly due to negative reasons. His anti-establishment attitude, something that was behind his ‘anarchist’ proclamation, is now looking rubbish, stale, so routine and selfish.

He promised Delhiites full statehood and many projects for which lands were needed. Now, everyone knows Centre cannot give full statehood to Delhi, cannot give Delhi Police under Delhi government and cannot leave land to the state government in a state that is also the National Capital of India. Even Sheila Dikshit, Kejriwal’s predecessor, could not achieve full statehood or could not get Delhi Police under her control even if she had three full terms in office and even if Congress led the Union Government from 2004 to 2014.

Yes, Delhi is a half state and is also the most important Indian city where people of national and international importance reside. The pragmatic approach to run this city-state lies is in reconciliation within the democratic norms.

And Delhi has to be governed like that, with an approach to take everyone on board, even if it means ceding some political ground to the Lieutenant-Governor as is the case of the appointment of the acting chief secretary of Delhi – even if it means handling the main political opposition, the BJP, whose government is at the Union level.

The confrontationist approach will not work in a democracy. Kejriwal needs a practical approach. He needs to work with the Union Government for the development of Delhi to consolidate his gains first.

Instead, he has chosen confrontation – closing the doors. He is indulging in a fight that he cannot win. He is indulging in a fight that is ethically not right.

Ironically, an ever increasing number of people who had shown faith in the political experiment called ‘the AAP’ are regretting their decision to vote the party in.

Let’s see what comes next. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE KEJRIWAL CULT

Now that the ‘benefit of doubt’ is gone, we can see clearly, rue clearly and write clearly.

During his first term, the 49 days of infamous-turned-famous rule, Arvind Kejriwal was all over Delhi. He was the chief minister then, with Congress’ support, and tried to live the big life in his own possible way.

No problem in that. He was allowed to do that as long as he enjoyed the elements of ‘benefit of doubt’, even if he meant to be imitating his predecessors.

Benefits of doubt – that he was an activist-turned politician who was trying to cleanse the system of its malaise and even if he imitated his predecessors, it was more like a human aberration.

He was termed dictatorial. He was termed a man who was turning the most successful political reform movement of the recent political history of India into a one-man show. He was described as a person who did what he wished. He was described as a person who could not bear a ‘no’.

But he had the benefit of doubt, which when met with non-performance of the BJP government during the Central Rule of Delhi through Lieutenant-Governor, created a mix that threw the BJP away giving Arvind Kejriwal an absolute rule.

And this time, he has no benefit of doubt – none of its elements.

And whatever that were there in the name of ‘benefit of doubt’, are now being seen as the elements of a hardcore politician, whose only goal was to become a politician similar to those who happened to be the main point behind his political plunge.

He had taken the political plunge to cleanse the politics of its malaise but the Indian politics of the day has taken him in its strides.

The whole Delhi, like the earlier time, has again been inundated with Kejriwal’s images, like his predecessors, and we can safely say that this is personal choice to do so – sans benefit of doubt.

He had deserted Delhi on February 14, 2014 and in a fiery display, again took the reins of the city-state exactly a year after, on February 14, 2015, and again completed 49 days – earlier this month.

But there were no initiatives like the last time. There was no rush to sound pro-people this time. Instead, the signals so far has told a routine political establishment with a chief minister and his aides who settle in new offices and new homes like a routine politician does.

With elements that clearly tell us that Kejriwal cannot take a ‘no’, is clearly dictatorial in his mindset, is turning his party into a one-man show (and a one-state, one-election phenomenon thus) and without elements that gave him the ‘benefit of doubt’ so far!

With inner party controversies to follow the Aam Aadmi Party post its massive electoral victory in Delhi that resulted in the ouster of the two senior-most founder members, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan (with low to no benefit of doubt when compared with Kejriwal of earlier tenure) and disillusionment of several other names of the civic society who had lend their voices to the movement when it turned political.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

A MOVEMENT. A GOVERNMENT. SIMILAR PREDICAMENT.

Major breakthrough within few months of launching organized initiatives.

Mobilizing masses to convert the initiatives into the experiments with mass appeal.

Achieving more than the success sought, becoming, thus the voices of millions.

Experimenting further while spearheading the course further, faltering, but taking up again, thus up on the way ahead.

Scoring even greater feat in the next phase with resounding success stories, rewriting the trends, overwriting the attempted writings, creating thus a history.

People seeing the history-making elements as opportunities to consolidate grip and further personal agenda.

Increasing trend to read the developments leading to the brilliant success stories with slanted opinions.

Rapid decline from slanted opinions to public display of vested interests.

Emergence and further deepening of the fault-lines.

Those are the premises that make for the stories of the 2011 anti-corruption movement and the political party that emerged from it, or the political party that was squeezed out of it, at the cost of the movement.

The Anna Hazare led movement and the Aam Aadmi Party experiment had a similar trajectory with similar elements in their respective life-cycles.

The high moral ground, the sole reason that mobilized the masses to stay with them to raise voice against corruption, gave way gradually to empty rhetoric.

The vested interests pushed their natural counterparts thus and the factional feuds of personal fiefdoms began.

The movement died afterward.

The ethics that were put in front to push the political experiment out of the movement have also died.

And with it, the political experiment is also dying.

The big question is – how long will it take before it concludes finally.

Will the similar predicaments lead to the similar fate finally?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

FIRST PHASE OF POLITICAL TRANSITION IS COMPLETE – AND ON A LIGHTNING FAST SCALE!

The mood was of celebration. The air was split with aroma. The body language was swaying with a subtle joy of achievement.

First phase of the transition was complete.

And it was achieved on a lightning fast scale.

Something unprecedented, totally unmatched, a never heard of feat, never before seen in the history of contemporary Indian politics!

It took decades for the two main national political parties of India to achieve that scale.

The Congress politically led the country in the freedom struggle for some six decades before it got the governing benches. The Bhartiya Janata Party had decades of wok by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bhartiya Jana Sangh and over a decade of its own before it could realize the power flowing in the legislative corridors.

Similar is the case of other political parties and politicians, be it Mayawati and Bahujan Samaj Party or Mulayam Singh Yadav and Samajwadi Party or Nitish Kumar-Sharad Yadav and Janata Dal (United) or Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal or many other offshoots of Janata Dal and their leaders or personality driven parties of South India.

Though some of them had relatively swift ascendance to the eminence of power corridors and the realization of the life thus the way the folklore goes, none of them could match the level of efficacy and energy shown by the newest one of their league.

And he has done it in just two years – two years eight months to be exact – since he first spoke going ‘political’ in August 2012 – and two years four months – since he formally inaugurated politically!

Obviously, there would be some hurt-burn and it is very well there. After all, they are like human beings, even if they have a separate, higher class.

The primeval feelings do exist and act like the sub-conscious flings.

But, overall, the peers are looking up at them. In fact, they have held sessions in their respective quarters to analyse the ways and means of their latest colleague.

And now, as the first phase of the transition is over, the next phase is beginning – to build on the weekend drama that the nation saw with bated breath.

After all, when the premise that is going to lead to the dramatics of the next stage unveiling on coming day has been so interesting that even the housewives stuck to the television sets ignoring the regular sob-and-blob family dramas, the theatrics when it emerges on the full canvas of its next act, will be a ‘mush watch’ series.

And like us, they would also be watching – with increasing level of comfort drawn from an increasingly familiar set of observations.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WHY THE POLITICAL EXPERIMENT CALLED AAP FAILED? – THE LEGACY OF THE STRUCTURAL FLAW OF THE ANTI-CORRUPTION MOVEMENT OF 2011

With the drama that culminated in yesterday’s events at the Aam Aadmi Party’s National Council meet where Arvind Kejriwal was officially crowned as the larger than life king of the party, the thought, if there was any behind the move to transition to a political alternative from an activism background, was also officially buried.

And it can be traced back to the core elements that led to failure of the anti-corruption movement of 2011. The movement was led by Anna Hazare. He was the face of it. Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Yogendra Yadav, Santosh Hegde, Medha Patkar and many others were its active soldiers.

And Arvind Kejriwal was its main strategist. His strategy worked very well when it got the mass appeal of Anna Hazare. But after the brilliant success of April and August legs of the movement in 2011, the slide began.

The December 2011 fast by Anna Hazare in Mumbai was a debacle. Similar was the fate of others that followed.

That leads us to think that the movement was poorly strategized (or was deliberately done so) as when it came to build further on the mass appeal and the localized initial spurt, there were no serious headways. The basic need was the faces beyond the localized pockets in several regions of the country.

But faces didn’t come. Instead, those who had built it, started leaving the movement due to internal differences and ideological rifts. Those who were there tried to maintain their eminence.

The movement ultimately failed due to its structural flaws.

It can be seen in social media response. The traditional media came subsequently. There were many flip-flops on the commitment to the core issue of ‘corruption’. Add to it the personal bickering among the group members and display of personal agenda in the public and we had a perfect recipe for disaster. That too, reflected in the social media trends.

Anna Hazare, the old Team Anna, the new Team Anna and the members of Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘Aam Aadmi Party’, all were in the news throughout 2012 for different reasons. The common thread among them was they were consistently talking about ‘change’ and the ‘politics of change’. Yet, they didn’t stir the imagination of the youth. The social media was almost not talking about them (except the routine stuff and the existing support base).

Anna Hazare was the major factor that led the youth to trust and accept the call. But once it was clear that the movement was hijacked by the vested interests, they simply moved away from it. The vigourous activity on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media platforms that was there during the April 2011 and September 2011 fasts had flattened later on.

The goodwill eroded – The Team Anna that gave us the AAP had much of the blame to share. Consistent flurry of controversies after August 28, 2011 especially with members like Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Bhushan duo corroded much of the goodwill.

Dislocated functionality – Good names like Rajinder Singh, PV Rajagopal left. Others aired their displeasure about functioning of the ‘core committee’. ‘India Against Corruption’ happened to be a 21-member effort but we were listening to and hearing none but these four-five faces. No replacements came. No fresh faced joined the movement. It had been an area of utter failure that Team Anna created itself.

Empty words – Sometimes impregnated with political overtures like expanding the ‘core committee’ with multilayered structure giving representation to all sections of society like Dalits, Muslims – such promises were made multiple times but nothing happened except confrontation and war of words with the government and its representatives as well as the intensifying internal differences of Team Anna.

Ethically wrong – Campaigning in Hisar was a historical mistake for this anti-corruption movement. When the movement was all about anti-corruption, taking partisan steps even remotely linked to helping someone with questioned credentials win should not have been practiced. Kiran Bedi’s defence of her inflated bills controversy was just absurd. In yet another disappointing move, Anna, more or less, justified his ‘Pawar’s just one-slap’ statement when he blogged about it. Here a Gandhian said that he, apart from Gandhi, believed in Chhatrapati Shivaji, too. So slapping Pawar, according to him, was akin to following values propagated by Shivaji. Smelt of Thackerays! Flatly, just not acceptable!

Unfocused – The much-hyped but left into the oblivion Uttar Pradesh tour was a classical example of resource spoilage. Not much was heard when it came to the summative evaluation of the tour. Days were wasted. Public money was wasted (the tour was funded by money donated by likes of ‘you and me’ during the anti-corruption agitation in Delhi). The anti-corruption movement was not restructured or reoriented for the next step to add more people with it. Instead, big ticket empty announcements like electoral reforms, education reforms, group expansion, anti-government campaigning in the upcoming elections were made again and again.

And similar trajectory can be traced in beginning and the journey so far of the AAP.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ARVIND KEJRIWAL’S POLITICAL AVATAR: AUGUST 2012 TO MARCH 2015 – ‘MAINSTREAMING’ METAMORPHOSIS IS SELF-EVIDENT

The metamorphosis to a ‘full-time mainstream politician’ – the mainstream that was bashed left, right and centre by Arvind Kejriwal when he had announced to take political plunge on August 3, 2012, before ending his fast – is complete now.

How fast Kejriwal has graduated to it, how efficiently he has donned the different manipulating colours of Indian politics of the day, is self evident when we align his speech that he had delivered while announcing his political foray in August 2012 to the text of the purported tape that emerged yesterday where he is heard hurling abuses on Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, the two senior-most founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party and the anti-corruption platform that Kejriwal so ‘politically’ used to become a ‘full-time politician’.

Here are the key excerpts from his August 3, 2012 speech: (NDTV)

“We have no great love for entering politics. Our aim is not to grab power, but to end the Delhi-centric government and take governance to the villages and the people. Ours will not be a party, but a movement. Ours will have the structure of an andolan, and be what the people want.”

“There will be no party high command and the people will select the candidates. We will go among the farmers and the people and ask them about their problems. They will tell us about their problems and their solutions. We will also go among the youth and ask them about their problems and ask for solutions. Likewise, we will go around the entire country and meet people. They will form the ghoshna patra (manifesto).”

“Our aim is not just to win the polls, it is to challenge all the political parties. I have a vision that in three years, India will change,” he added. General elections will be held in India in 2014.”

Cut to March 2015.

Kejriwal is ‘loudly’ among them now, sitting comfortably in the lot that happened to be the ‘main spark’ for his political plunge.

The excerpts from the latest AAP sting, on Kejriwal, makes it self-evident. Here are the disturbing echoes from the tape: (The Times of India)

Umesh: But I feel that there are problems because you have been kept away. Sir, please get involved.

Arvind: I didn’t come for this kind of fighting. I have no interest in it. You work with Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. My best wishes are with you. I have not come to fight. If the need arises, then I am thinking of leaving Aam Aadmi Party and forming another party. You manage Aam Aadmi Party. It is a very good team, Prof Anand Kumar…In the past four days, Prof Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha have done kaminapanti, they are so kamina. They said implement RTI, we said alright, we are ready. A dialogue was still on between the two groups then. They said volunteer participation…we agreed to all the demands. And now yesterday they said they were just bargaining. ‘We don’t have any interest’…are you so kamina! What bargaining are you doing? Are you such cheap people? What you call my less capable team is made of pure men. We might be less capable but we have a clean heart. You have a malicious heart and are kameene log. So best wishes to you Umesh.

Umesh: Sir, don’t think like this.

Arvind: No, listen, listen, listen. I don’t want to have any further discussion on this which is why I have kept myself away from this. Now let’s see what they are doing, otherwise I will take my 66 MLAs and break away. You run Aam Aadmi Party. I will have nothing to do with Aam Aadmi Party.

Umesh: Sir please understand, this is not about you or me, this is about the country.

Arvind (shouting): What drama is this that we should all work together? Go speak to them. Un saalon ne harane mein…what you are calling a good team left no stone unturned to ensure that we lost the Delhi election. Now we should take them along? If they were in any other party, they (un saalon ko) would have been kicked out by now. Kameene log hein woh ek number ke. I don’t know what they are.

Umesh: Sir I am not able to see things from that close or understand.

Arvind: Then don’t speak if you can’t see, alright.

From – ‘not a party but a movement’- from – ‘no party high command’ – from – ‘aim is not to grab power’ – from – ‘only about people’ –- to – ‘kaminapanti, they are so kamina’ (bastards) – to – ‘a party synonymous with just one person’ – to – ‘not about people but about Kejriwal’ – to – ‘a high command that is as opaque and dictatorial as any other one person/one family political party – a big letdown – in just two years and eight months.

Kejriwal claimed in 2015 that he had a vision that India will change in three years. Now, it is not even three years and his polity says it is he who has changed his ways to align himself to the political mainstream.

It is not that Arvind Kejriwal has failed the ‘common man’, the ‘aam aadmi’, for the first time. He did it in December 2013 when he formed an ‘opportunistic government’ in Delhi with Congress’s support. Next he did so by deserting Delhi to try his political luck in the parliamentary polls.

With a loss of face there, he again came to the questionable ways of mainstream politics by trying poaching MLAs from other parties to form the government (as yet another sting with his voice purportedly revealed).

All this while he had a benefit of doubt that these were the honest mistakes of an activist-turned politician who was learning ways to make inroads in Indian politics. Coupled with the BJP’s lackluster show on running Delhi during the Central rule in the National Capital Territory of India, he made a blockbuster comeback in the February 2015 Delhi assembly polls.

Arvind Kejriwal and his party projected it as the triumph of the ‘aam aadmi’.

But the developments since then clearly tell us that Mr. Kejriwal has failed the common man once again.

It was not that all was well in the AAP. There were reports of internal rift during the Lok Sabha polls and in the period before and during the the campaigning phase of the Delhi assembly polls.

It is not that Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were beyond doubt but what Kejriwal did, what followed in the AAP meeting today, clearly let the common man down.

By orchestrating all that happened today, killing internal democracy and crushing voices anti- to him in his party, Kejriwal has betrayed the common man finally.

Because, at any cost, what he is heard speaking on the tape and the drama that he curated today, cannot be accepted, when his political base begins with opposing the mainstream of Indian politics, when he seeks political entry on a ‘promise of politics of change’.

If the AAP was at all a politcal movement as Kejriwal had claimed in August 2012, it is effectively dead now.

The politician Arvind Kejriwal, who abuses his colleagues and crushes political dissent in his party with iron grip, has lost the benefit of doubt that he enjoyed till the Delhi assembly polls.

And it is bound to reflect on upcoming electoral events.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/