Kejriwal’s politics of extremes may fetch him rich results once again. Those, who have already written Arvind Kejriwal off as a spent force, may have to eat their words very soon. Fond of playing high-stake games at the margins, this headline grabber political novice may, very well, spring fresh surprises on the entire political class, as well as political pundits, once again.
By resigning as the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has once again proved that he is not as helpless or hapless as some pundits would have us believe. The statements that he has been making for the last few days had made it amply clear that he was ready to get the albatross of CM’s chair off his neck very soon. If we did not interpret his words rightly, surely it was all our fault. His resignation is a part of a well-thought plan and despite the disappointment that it has generated amid AAP supporters, it may actually help his party in the coming days.
And anyone who watches TV everyday can conclude very easily that he has never been comfortable in the CM’s seat. And while he did not exactly shine in his role as the chief minister, no one should underestimate his prowess as a politician. He has always excelled in the role of a rebel. And this is the main reason why he has once again taken the road to rebellion. And this is one area where he has the ability to outshine every other politician and every other party. ‘Kejriwal-the CM’ might have looked awkward. But, ‘Kejriwal-the rebel’ has always been a potent force. And it is this potent force that he now plans to unleash and tap in the run up to Lok Sabha elections.
Analysts may have trashed AAP’s arguments in favour of Kejriwal’s resignation and may have found faults with his stubbornness in ignoring constitutional niceties before tabling Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi Assembly. However, the common man on the street does not care too much about constitutional niceties that any way only the constitutional experts and lawyers are conversant with. And while the onslaught from mainstream media may have dented AAP’s support base to some extent, he is still viewed as someone who is not too anxious to remain in power. Kejriwal knows this. He knows that his tendency to sacrifice a position of power will evoke empathy among the common man and this empathy is what he ultimately aims at.
Arvind Kejriwal had looked a reluctant CM from the very first day. He has been itching to find a way out of the morass of power that circumstances had put him into. And while there are many who would view his resignation as an attempt to escape from responsibilities of governance, the common man on the street will still have sympathy for him and would view him as someone who intends to do good but is unable to do good because of others. The fact that both Congress and BJP were seen opposing the introduction of Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi Assembly together would only help bolster his argument that both these parties have joined hands the moment he opened a front against Reliance Industries and that both these parties have united in defeating his attempt to fight corruption.
BJP has made it clear that it would not form the government on the basis of the present mandate and that it would prefer to go to polls. AAP and Kejriwal too would prefer to go to polls. However, this may not suit Congress the best because it would certainly be the biggest loser if fresh elections are held in Delhi at this juncture. Keeping fresh polls in abeyance would be its first priority.
It would be interesting to see how Kejriwal and his party up the ante in the campaigning for Lok Sabha elections. AAP has made it clear that it would target Narendra Modi’s vote base now. It would also be interesting how BJP leadership tackles the new surge in AAP onslaught now that Arvind Kejriwal is free from his responsibilities as the chief minister.
AAP does not have a very strong organization outside Delhi. However, it does have spontaneous support base in almost all the towns and cities, especially in North and central India, and it can tap this support base very well in the days to come.
In our own city, Jamshedpur, AAP’s supporters have come under one umbrella. And though it is a loosely organized group of a few well-intentioned people, the lack of well-defined organizational structure may hamper its progress here. Arvind Kejriwal has made it clear that he would be devoting more time on strengthening the organizational base in different parts of the country. All eyes will be on him now.
And while he focuses attention on Lok Sabha polls, you can trust him to add more fizz and more drama to the electoral battle that is going to unfold in the days to come.
- We must learn to take criticism of policy decisions in our stride - April 10, 2015
- Decision to scrap Section 309 of IPC is a welcome move - December 12, 2014
- Right moves from BJP - November 10, 2014