Arvind Kejriwal is back in the news, what started as a midnight drama after the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash at the CM’s residence on 24th February 2018 culminated in the Delhi Chief Minister, along with some cabinet colleagues, going on a sit-in dharna at the Lt Governors residence last week. Delhi IAS officers had been on a non-cooperation movement with the elected AAP government since the Anshu Prakash incident & Arvind Kejriwal could do little about it, as the Lt Governor is master of the civil services in Delhi. What Arvind Kejriwal could have done is, open lines of communication with the civil servants, offer regrets & ensure the safety and security, he was unwilling to do.
Fast-forward to 11th June 2018, when after an unfruitful meeting with the Lt Governor, Kejriwal who has perfected optics, into a fine art, decided along with some cabinet colleagues to park himself in the Lt Governors waiting room, till his demands were met.
Grounds for a confrontation between the AAP led Delhi Government & the BJP led Central Government, seem to have been set, then something curious happened, instead of a BJP – AAP confrontation taking center-stage, the spotlight strangely turned on to Congress, a party which isn’t in power at the center & has zero representation in the Delhi assembly, for not supporting Kejriwal in his standoff with the central government, even more strangely, a section of seasoned political commentators belonging to the media, attempted to amplify a narrative, that by not supporting AAP, Congress was doing opposition unity & democracy injustice. Here we need to remember, it was exactly these sort of amplified narratives, which propped the optics of the Anna Hazare agitation, an agitation, we now know, was funded & manned by RSS backed organizations.
While Kejriwal has all the rights to do his politics & reach out to whoever, he thinks may be able to help him, in his fight against the BJP & to certain extent he was also successful in getting some non BJP parties to endorse his stand, the piling up on Congress, by sections of the media was most perplexing, after all how do they expect Congress to forget, Arvind Kejriwal during his IAC days, started off with support from sections within the RSS, how can INC forget the baseless allegations Kejriwal heaped on Sheila Dixit and other INC leaders, how can INC forget, Kejriwal’s apologies on radio, to the people of Delhi, for accepting INC support during his forty-nine day government, can we also forget his ” Modi For PM – Arvind For CM ” pitch, days before his sit – in at the Lt Governors residence started, Kejriwal in the Delhi Assembly promised to campaign for the BJP in 2019, if it granted Delhi full statehood. Then why is INC expected to roll over, just because it suits Kejriwal to be anti-BJP today?
Then the second narrative, ” Congress Isolated ” ran the headlines on some channels after Chief Ministers of some non BJP ruled states, came out in support of Arvind Kejriwal. I have just one simple question for those channels, their editors & their political observers, how many Lok Sabha seats can AAP help a Mamata Banerjee win in West Bengal, or a Chandrababu Naidu win in Andhra Pradesh or a K Chandrasekhar Rao in Telangana, in fact these Chief Ministers can’t even help each other face a BJP onslaught in their respective states, INC & only INC has the vote-share in each of these states, hence INC is best placed to become the nucleus of opposition unity, the rest is posturing.
It was heartening to see INC supporters vociferously countering each of the false binaries, narratives & optics sought to be built around the air-conditioned Kejriwal dharna, had INC & its supporters countered the Anna Hazare gang, just as vigorously & vociferously, the situation might have been different today.
How desperate Kejriwal & his team were to find a way out of the situation they had boxed themselves in, can be gauged by the fact, that seriously unwell, AAP ministers who had to be carried out on stretchers a day before from the Lt Governors residence were fit enough to address press conferences just a day later, after the AAP – IAS impasse was broken.
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