Get Arvind Kejriwal off Twitter - he's losing it

He could perhaps take a sabbatical and focus on the problems of Delhi and recalibrate his national strategy.

 |  5-minute read |   23-11-2016
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It all began with #AugustKranti. It continued with a host of Twitter trends related to corruption, the spectacular launch and debut of AAP and the 2014 general elections. It continues to the present day. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is the absolute emperor of Twitter trends and even as I write this, #MamtaKejriXposed is a top trend.

The never-ending list of trends include megalomaniacal ones like #HopeOfPunjabKejriwal or those bashing him - such as #KejriKaJuth and #PsychoKejriwal or even bizarre ones along the lines of #PakStandsWithKejriwal.

kej_112316024155.jpg With close to 10 million followers (second only to Modi among Indian politicians) he is sure to brew many a Twitter storm!

Of course, with a colourful personality like Kejriwal, the question is: how will he not trend? From taking to midnight dharnas and sleeping in the middle of the road in a colourful rajai to getting slapped while being garlanded to his infinite U-turns (nobody is even keeping track anymore), he is an absolute delight for both mainstream and social media.

His Twitter feed is pure, unadulterated entertainment. Just sample some of his tweets:

His obsessive compulsive disorder over Prime Minister Narendra Modi is evident from this now legendary tweet:

The problem is that the micro-blogging website reflects the time of tweets and some of his anti-Modi tweets posted past midnight lay bare his obsession with the PM of India. It didn't help when Kejriwal alleged that Modi could even have him murdered.

You can see his megalomania in the tweet where he sees himself as a lone ranger up against the entire corrupt system of India:

(What did you expect? His Twitter profile reads: "Political revolution in India has begun. Bharat jaldi badlega. Arvind Kejriwal." Who puts his own name in his Twitter profile when it's already going in his name his username is also @arvindkejriwal?)

His penchant of hurling allegations without an iota of proof even during the current #Demonetization move is evident here:

His rabid devotion in demanding proof for every development leads to a flurry of tweets from his detractors (which in turn help trend him - a vicious circle).

Or:

Even a cartoon will do to take a shot at Modi:

When he's cornered, he'll tweet furiously and retweet with a near vengeance. At such times, his timeline is a virtual flood of tweets. With close to 10 million followers (second only to Modi among Indian politicians) he is sure to brew many a Twitter storm!

Due diligence is thrown out of the window and in the course of time many tweets or retweets end up being deleted. Like the latest one where someone took a photo of a bank robber who committed suicide and it was attributed to the inability to draw money owing to the long demonetisation queues.

His parody accounts flourish and sometimes it's difficult to distinguish the fake from the parody. One such popular account is aptly titled @TrollKejri:

Which led to yet another sinister Twitter trend called #RIPKejriwal.

Lo behold! Kejriwal can create as many top trends as he likes. His supporters can create as many top trends as they like. His detractors can create as many top trends as they like. Even his parody accounts will trend!

People accuse him of having a paid army of trolls, boosting paid trends and having an excellent relationship with the Twitter management.But on his own, Kejriwal is a force to reckon with when it comes to Twitter trends and not even the mighty Modi can match him in this regard.

That's what Kejriwal has been reduced to: a Twitter trend, and that's all he will be if he continues his charade. He got a mere four seats in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. His gains in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections seem to be wiped out.

Development and governance are at a pathetic low in the capital and there are office-of-profit cases against 48 AAP MLAs while close to a dozen face some charge or the other. In addition, if an alcoholic like Bhagwant Mann is to be the face of AAP in the Punjab elections, you have a serious problem.

While Kejriwal is being portrayed as a national leader, he is nowhere near being one. Twitter trends and storms can take you just that far.A report said that earlier in the month, the campaign staff of US President elect Donald Trump took away control of his Twitter account. That means they would "vet" and "edit" him and a report said that his tweets would now be less negative and hyperbolic.

Is it time for the AAP management to do that to our very own Kejriwal who seems beyond control? He could perhaps take a Twitter sabbatical and focus on the problems of Delhi and recalibrate his national strategy.

Otherwise, he will continue his run as nothing but a never-ending Twitter trend. Optimum publicity in the public mind, but little else. No wonder Modi ignores Kejriwal and rarely sees him as a threat. Till the next top Kejriwal Twitter trend then.

Writer

Sunil Rajguru Sunil Rajguru @sunilrajguru

The author is a Bengaluru-based journalist and blogger.

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