Arvind Kejriwal jumped on the national scene in 2011 when Anna Hazare launched his anti-corruption movement against UPA government. It has been a roller coaster ride for him since then with few downs and more ups. He has been in the limelight and has been covered in large number of newspaper columns. Here is our take on what makes him special:
- Ambitious: Politics is for ambitious people and Kejriwal has shown a knack for it since his early IRS days by jumping from one job to another to reach where he is today. Given that he immersed himself head on into Varanasi Lok Sabha election against Modi without any preparation should clear doubts in anyone’s mind that he aims for the top position in this country.
- Result oriented: Kejriwal wants to win at any cost and is ready to shake hands with anyone to achieve this objective, whether it is bigoted Maulana Taseer or Khalistanis. Are you listening Lalu and Mulayam- here is your replacement!! The love that he gets from Pakistanis is not unreasonable after all.
- Unapologetic: Although, he pleaded sorry in front of Delhi citizens after his 49 days stint as Chief Minister to get re-elected again but in general he does not care when saving his real ass-lickers or himself. He fought alongside Somnath Bharti after Khirkhi raid as well as threw out BJP MLAs from Delhi Assembly. If still not convinced, just look at his complete silence at MCD worker strike and the resultant garbage mess in Delhi.
- Master of forming social coalitions: He is the true inheritor of Congress social engineering skill. He has used auto-wallahs, muslims and slum dwellers to form his core support base in Delhi. He has now added Khalistanis in Punjab to this list and will expand it as he goes into other states.
- He knows that socialism sells: Who would have expected that one can fool Delhites with free wi-fi and electricity, but Kejriwal did it. He will sell other dreams in the future as nothing sells more than freebies during election.
- Knows how to play the victim card: Without knowing how to play victim card, point 5 cannot be used again and again. Right now he blames GoI for all problems in Delhi. He will find new enemies to blame as he rises in his political stature.
- Knows how to use people: Poor Anna must be feeling left out today as Kejriwal has grabbed all the headlines from him. The way he chewed and spit out Yadav and Bhushan will form text book example on how to dispose political rivals after achieving your objectives.
- Makes his followers feel special: A leader is no leader if he cannot summon a charged group of followers. Every comrade wants to think that he is important and essential to achieve the grand objective of the beloved leader. Kejriwal ensures to give proper chance to his storm-troopers to feel important, sometimes in the form of enforcing odd-even transport rule or in delivering mob justice. Do you now understand why Aaptards act crazy?
- Master at deflecting issues: What did CBI think before raiding the office of Chief Secretary of Delhi Government? They did not expect that Kejriwal will throw muck on Jaitley by alleging a DDCA scam and deflect attention from his Chief Secretary. He is good at shoot and scoot which gives him enough time to gather his thoughts and mount a counter-attack. Just ask Jaitley how he feels about it!
- Messiah image: He knows that Indians put the dhoti wearing Gandhi on a pedestal and this is the image he tries to live by everyday. He does not wear a dhoti, but the muffler and slipper give him the perfect Aam Aadmi look he wants to cash upon. Also he does not mind getting slapped every now and then to get some sympathy and donation. There is no doubt that Indians are gullible and will fall for these cheap tricks.
All the above qualities mean that Kejriwal is there in politics for the long haul. BJP and Congress might reject him as a fool but he knows very well what he is doing. This misunderstanding will cost them a lot in the future but the worrying part is how much will India have to pay for electing him? Since he is openly unapologetic and used his followers to enforce odd-even law and other policing duties, it means he would not mind unleashing them in the future to deliver mob justice. Also, his complete silence on pro-independence stance of his old comrade (Prashant Bhushan) on Kashmir, can make any nationalist uncomfortable about his belief in upholding the territorial integrity of India. These issues points towards serious problems against his nature of politics.
Given that Lok Sabha elections were marked by fractured mandates in the last three decades before Modi’s election, it would not be a surprise if Kejriwal gets the PM position in next elections if AAP does reasonably well in a few northern states and cities. The right ecosystem in India should form reasonable strategy to contain him now else he can prove to be a real threat in the future. He called himself Anarchist once and it will be a grave mistake to not take him on face value about it.