The Natwarlal of Delhi !

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Justice Markandey Katju

Arvind Kejriwal joined Anna Hazare's movement for integrity in public life in 2012, and became Chief Minister of Delhi in 2013, riding piggy back on the movement.

Since there was massive corruption in public life in India, people were fed up of it, and were looking for a redeemer, who would end this nefarious practice which had spread its tentacles all over India. Hence they supported the Aam Admi Party, which Kejriwal and some others had created as a party standing up for honesty in public life, with great gusto and enthusiasm. A large number of people, including many NRIs, contributed funds to the party.

In the 2015 Delhi assembly elections, this fledgling party, with Kejriwal as its leader, won a resounding victory, claiming 67 of the 70 seats, decimating the two major political parties. AAP struck a chord among all sections of the masses with its message of a moral political order based on the sovereignty of the people and devolution of powers to the grassroots.

However, Kejriwal, as Chief Minister of Delhi, revealed his true colours soon thereafter. He realised that the anti-corruption movement had run its course, and he must now take recourse to 'realpolitik' i.e. practical politics divorced from any ethics or principles.

Among the first things he did was to throw out from the party any prospective rivals or competitors, like Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, and Yogendra Yadav, who had objected to giving AAP tickets to dubious persons, against whom there were serious charges of corruption.

Kejriwal also removed the upright retired Admiral Ramdas from the post of internal Lokpal, and appointed his henchmen in his place.

Thus he acquired dictatorial power in AAP.

He then gave high posts in AAP to 'chamchas' i.e. people loyal to him, like Manish Sisodia ( who was made the Dy. Chief Minister of Delhi ), Satender Jain ( who was made the Health Minister ), Sanjay Singh ( who was made a Member of the Rajya Sabha ) etc. All these persons are facing serious charges of corruption ( e.g. in connection with the massive liquor scam ), and are in jail.

In fact ever since Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of Delhi in 2013 scandal after scandal were exposed, and have been rocking his government/ party, and many prominent figures had to resign ( though Kejriwal, like an artful dodger, always claimed having no knowledge of their misdeeds ).

The irony is that these allegations of corruption have been made against a party which was catapulted into power on the slogan of honesty !

Huge amounts of money were spent by AAP, obviously on the direction of Kejriwal, on advertisements, hoardings, posters, etc praising AAP, and in particular Kerjriwal.

Kejriwal got two Guptas elected for the Rajya Sabha, allegedly for some quid pro quo

Now with ED ( Enforcement Directorate ) raids going on at the residences/offices of several prominent AAP functionaries and their secretaries, the chickens have come home to roost for this Natwarlal of today.
Kejriwal himself has been not complying with repeated ED notices to appear before it, on various pretexts

However, the time may be up for Natwarlal

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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