If I could read Arvind Kejriwal’s mind in its most ruthless, venomous form, I would be reporting the following. “My name is Arvind Kejriwal and there is no space for equals. If you think that the Aam Aadmi Party will operate on the principles of collective governance and transparency, you are living in fool’s paradise. Yes, we did make such promises during campaigning, but times change, situation changes. We all make compromises in order to remain in power. You are either with me, or you don’t exist. Find a party that listens to the voices of its people. Don’t put me off, and you will be just fine.”
The hope that was born at Ramlila Maidan a few years ago stands broken to pieces. Using hyperbole, bordering on psychosis, and the beautifully crafted image of a common man, the Delhi chief minister has captured everyone’s imagination. He has also displayed traits of a brilliant tactician and a ruthless general. Or at least, that is what he has transformed into.
The public perception of AAP as a ‘party with a difference’ has evaporated, as has Arvind’s image as the engine of change. Born out of a revolution to clean the system, the party is grappling with rebellion. The cleverly executed purge, that saw the unceremonious exit of founding leaders like Yogendra Yadav and Prashat Bhushan, reflects, or rather reveals, Arvind’s grand scheme: To exercise absolute control over the party. Yogendra and Prashant were given their marching orders for demanding inner party democracy and accountability!
In his impulse to remove all dissenting voices from the party, he failed to realise that he treated the party’s much-respected Lokpal, Admiral Ramdas, in the same discourteous manner as the others. That was a
giveaway. Stifling internal democracy and adopting unfair means to reinforce power, Arvind has abandoned all the founding principles of transparency and accountability.
Delhi is horribly broken today. Professional bouncers have been sighted circling around him. There is a large splash of arrogance in his tone and he has built a personality cult. There is no poster, banner, pamphlet, press conference or radio advertisement that doesn’t bear his name, image or voice. Betrayed, dismayed and disillusioned volunteers are turning their backs on the party.
Political immaturity clear reflects in all his speeches and policies.There is an exodus-like situation in the party. Several leaders have quit, citing authoritarianism as the main reason.
There is no roadmap to keep the promises being made every day. There is deafening silence on governance. There is no clear cut response from the leader of the party on the ongoing rift. Tickets for elections are not distributed fairly. There is pretence of transparency but there is muchthat is not revealed. Offering cheap electricity and water was a neat
strategy but how will it happen without consequences?
Where is Delhi headed, Mr Chief Minister?