One of the crucial moments of Arvind Kejriwal‘s political life is his decision in 2014 to first go to jail as an alternative of furnishing a bail bond in an offense case filed by Nitin Gadkari and then making an conceptual about-turn by applying for bail after spending 6 days in jail.
What did it tell us about him? To many, it was an orthodox sign of a man who states high ideals, publicly vows to fight for them but tosses in the towel the moment he realizes the high cost of standing up for distinct principles.
For a moment, when he wished jail over a bail bond, it seemed Arvind Kejriwal wanted to be the Mahatma Gandhi or an Anna Hazare — whose incarceration during the Lokpal bill movement had caused a storm — of his age, someone who was ready for the tough significances of his ideological stubbornness. But, in the end, he preferred to end his fight in a matter of a few days by making a meek compromise and surrendering his ideals.
On Tuesday, Kapil Mishra filed 3 complaints against his mentor, whom he called his Guru, with the CBI, accusing Arvind Kejriwal of insert and nepotism. The sacked AAP minister offered proof of his allegations against Kejriwal in a closed envelope.
“I’ve registered 3 complaints. The first in connection with Rs 50 crore land deal of Arvind Kejriwal’s relative. The 2nd against the cash exchange of Rs 2 crore between Kejriwal and Satyendra Jain, and 3rd against 5 AAP leaders who distorted funds for foreign trips,” Mishra claimed after meeting the CBI.
Now, Mishra’s sudden tirade against Kejriwal smacks of double-dealing behavior and personal vendetta. That he is creating a blizzard only after being discharged from the Kejriwal cabinet either makes him complicit in the so-called graft — he claims to be an eyewitness — or a liar seeking to stain his “Guru’s” image through hearsay.
But, Arvind Kejriwal’s response is even more appalling. Instead of facing the charges, refuting them, ensuring that the muck thrown at him doesn’t stick, Arvind Kejriwal resorted to the classical subterfuge of starting a new war to bounce attention from the Mishra accusations when he convoked the Delhi assembly to demonstrate how EVMs could be hacked.
Arvind Kejriwal must indeed be living in some La La Land if he thinks people would believe his allegations when his own reliability is under a cloud. His outburst against the EC may, in fact, remind many of the famous distich, Don’t talk about this and that. First answer how the caravan was robbed. The question mark is over your leadership.
In fact, if Arvind Kejriwal was indeed serious about the EVMs, he could have done a much more than just passing a resolution for use of ballot papers and VVPATs. To prove his point, as many on Twitter have joked, he could have suggested fresh elections through ballot papers. But, then, Arvind Kejriwal is more keen to create diversions than fight for his own image.
Preferably, Kejriwal should have used Kapil Mishra’s claims to re-establish some of his original credentials. Like Sita, he could have volunteered a test by fire to prove his innocence. The best option for him to silence Kapil Mishra and other critics would have been an unbiased enquiry into the allegations. If he had the guts and practicality, Arvind Kejriwal could have asked a retired justice of the HC or a panel to look into the claims. Had he come out clean, Kejriwal could have reclaimed some of the lost esteem and goodwill.
But, now that he has chosen mystification and diversion over an agni pariksha, Kejriwal has ended up adding more fuel to the fire that is slowly demolishing him and his party.