I have worked with Arvind Kejriwal. This is how AAP has failed aam aadmi

The so-called people’s movement against corruption has been exposed, ironically, within two years in power.

 |  4-minute read |   11-05-2017
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With the drubbing in the recent MCD elections, followed first by the Kumar Vishwas saga and later the Kapil Mishra episode, the Aam Aadmi Party’s political standing has hit rock bottom.

But what has come as a bigger jolt is Arvind Kejriwal’s stubborn refusal to act like a chief minister rather than an activist when, on the issue of EVMs being tampered with by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he threatened to flood the roads of Delhi with protesters.

Opportunism

Kejriwal and his party have a long history of opportunism and broken promises. Having used Anna Hazare, Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, among many others, as part of “use and throw” tactic, having left Delhi in the lurch for his prime ministerial ambition, having taken the Delhiites for a ride by taking umpteen U-turns and having dumped the Lokpal Bill, the CM has not only lost his face and ground in the city but all across the country.

Unfulfilled promises of setting up 500 schools, WiFi facilities and 15 lakh CCTV cameras, etc, have all fallen flat; so have the city schools gone haywire after the government cut 25 per cent of the syllabus and haphazardly divided the unassuming children into three categories as if they were commodities.

This happened because the education ministry was handed over to a man who knew nothing about education. In record time, AAP — an idealistic party looked up as a harbinger of hope — has degenerated into any other political party. Though promising to be different, its leaders too are seen unscrupulously running after power and money.

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Honesty plus hubris and self-righteousness spells disaster; that is what the AAP has become today. Kejriwal ditched the people of Delhi saying he would use Metro for conveyance and not take any staff, security or government accommodation, but he ended up hiring a staff of 30 people at his government accommodation in Delhi before he resigned as CM within 49 days and then accommodating himself in a two-acre bungalow with 45 air conditioners with an electricity bill of over Rs 2.5 lakh.

Today, he has two-tier security, and his transformation into a very khas aadmi (VVIP) is all too obvious to ignore.

Obsession

The CM’s obsession with media publicity can be gauged from the fact that he spent Rs 97 lakh in placing his photographs in hoardings across Delhi, Goa and Punjab. Delhiites have also seen how he got carried away by media channels in 2014 projecting his photographs alongside the pictures of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.

So much so that he decided to leave Delhi for Varanasi in the hope of becoming the prime minister of the new ruling conglomerate. It’s another matter that he and his party fared badly in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Today if I am saying that Kejriwal is not the messiah as mistaken by umpteen people, it’s because I have seen and worked with him very closely. I was one of the biggest votaries and supporters of AAP and advocated the party’s cause. But owing to the opportunism and vested interests of its leaders, I decided to call it a day.

I resigned in May 2014 after I got close to Kejriwal and found him to be an opportunistic, untrustworthy, unstable and, worse, even undemocratic person.

Insecurities

Kejriwal’s insecurities were too obvious to ignore when I got the party’s media cell rolling. This writer, being a trilingual spokesperson in television news channels, was seen by the Delhi CM as a stumbling block. Maybe he thought the author was getting too popular and might become the media face of the party.

That way I found Kejriwal to be a very insecure person and politician. Having seen the movement grow, many people like me thought that they would fight against corruption, inflation and communalism, but the experience showed that they had chosen wrong leaders.

Even today, people are deserting the party. Many of them told me that they made a lifetime mistake by joining this so-called movement meant to promote probity in politics. The so-called people’s movement against corruption has been exposed, ironically, within two years in power.

It is time to put an end to the quixotic charade masquerading as the voice and face of the common man. It has not just dashed people’s aspirations but also is a big setback to a political experiment aimed to cleanse the country’s political system both from within and outside.

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Also read: Tough questions to Arvind Kejriwal: Spell out your personal politics

Writer

Firoz Bakht Ahmed Firoz Bakht Ahmed

The writer, grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, is a social commentator.

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