How Big A Charlatan Is Arvind Kejriwal

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 26, 2024 IST

Sutanu Guru

Sutanu Guru


Executive Director, C Voter Foundation

Let’s be very clear about one thing. There can be no doubt that the NDA regime is using central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation and the Income Tax Department to target opposition leaders and parties. Barring loyal BJP supporters, no one will dispute this fact. To that extent, one can say that the actions of the NDA regime are weakening democracy. But there is another way to look at it. Ruling regimes in Delhi have always used central agencies too target opponents, rivals and critics. So Indian democracy was flawed from the very beginning ad remains flawed even now. Having said that, what does one make of Arvind Kejriwal?

The author is not surprised by the arrest of the sitting chief minister of Delhi who is also the Boss of Aam Aadmi Party. More than a decade ago, when the author was heading a multi lingual magazine, there was a special 32 page supplement devoted to the India Against Corruption movement led by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. Thirty one of the 32 pages were devoted to singing praises for the movement, Ana and Arvind. The author wrote the 32nd page as a dissenting note, warning that the euphoria and hysteria generated by this anti-corruption movement was too good to be true. The author had also categorically stated that charlatans in the guise of anti-corruption crusaders were hoodwinking ordinary Indians. 

Eve today, the author stands by what he wrote even before AAP was formally launched as a political party. The author doesn’t know if Arvind Kejriwal is actually involved in the liquor scam for which he has been arrested. But one thing is for sure: the man has turned out to be a charlatan of monumental proportions who thought he could take everyone for a ride. Virtually all the promises that Kejriwal has made have turned out to be fake, hollow and false. He started off by swearing upon his children that he will not ally with the Congress. Look at AAP and Congress now. But that is a small breach of promise compared to others.

When he won the 2015 assembly elections of Delhi by a landslide, Kejriwal promised that his government will build 500 new schools in five years. Sure, there was an improvement in the quality of some handpicked government schools. But not a single new school was built. Ditto with hospitals. The Mohalla Cliic scheme has done some good work in some areas of Delhi. But it is infested with corruption. Each time a failure of his government is pointed out, Kejriwal and his ministers habitually and reflexively blame others. Take the issue of severe pollution in Delhi. For years, Kejriwal kept blaming the Congress government in Punjab for failing to stop stubble burning which is a major source of pollution in Delhi. He kept saying the problem will disappear once AAP forms a government in Delhi. Well, there has been an AAP government in Delhi since early 2022 and there are no signs of any end to stubble burning. 

Beyond broken promises, Kejriwal has turned out to be more authoritarian and intolerant than most politicians. Soon after he won the massive mandate in 2015, Kejriwal threw out AAP co founders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. Another public face of the party Kumar Vishwas was completely sidelined. But his intolerance doesn’t stop there. Just one example will show how petty ad vindictive he can be. The television channel Times Now and its Hindi counterpart broke a series of stories on how Arvind Kejriwal had spent multiple crores of tax payers money to do up his official residence. There was a huge controversy then because here was a man who had vowed to lead a simple life. Till date, there has been no satisfactory answer from him and his loyalists on the extravagant spending. Instead, the Punjab Police arrested a Times Now journalist who had covered the story on trumped up charges of SC/ST atrocity. 

How has he gotten away with all this? Two reasons. First, the old ecosystem of Delhi detests Narendra Modi as their entitled privileges have withered away. They see Kejriwal as a potential challenger to Modi and hence turn a blind eye to all his excesses and lies. Second, Kejriwal has bombarded the media with advertisements of the Delhi and Punjab governments. In this day and age, when media platforms struggle for revenue, these ads are God sent. Implicit is the threat that negative coverage will lead to withdrawal of the ads. This carrot and stick policy has worked so far.

But for how long?

Disclaimer:

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.

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