When the Aam Aadmi Party burst into prominence, Arvind Kejriwal became India's Number 1 anti-corruption crusader and lamented that there were so many chargesheeted politicians in Parliament.
But as the weeks have unfolded after that, AAP leaders are increasingly finding themselves being chargesheeted and getting embroiled in various court cases.
1. Vigilante raid: It was disturbing to see a Law Minister in the form of Somnath Bharti leading a vigilante mob and telling the Delhi Police to break the law. In a rare instance, the cops actually looked like the good guys.
Not only was the raid racist and misogynist in nature, but Bharti also found a case slapped against him. Bharti has been accused in the past of being a spammer, and he also has been pulled up by the courts over tampering of evidence.
The problem with Bharti is that there is simply too much evidence against him and he conducted his raid in front of live cameras. He was seen on TV both in Khirki Extension and later in the hospital.
It all has been complicated by the fact that Kejriwal hasn’t given a single convincing defence against any of his charges, but chose to go on a dharna to defend him.
2. The dharna: Kejriwal stunned the nation when he did a dharna as New Delhi Chief Minister. He clashed with the very Delhi Police he said it would reform and flouted Section 144 blatantly.
As India watched the entire drama, the dharna ended with no concrete assurances and nothing to bring about a change in the system. The Delhi Police filed a case against the AAP and it will be interesting to see what the final verdict will be.
3. Attack on BJP headquarters: This was the absolute low point of the AAP. Leading a mob to attack the BJP headquarters has nothing to do with good governance. The gherao and stone pelting incidents have overshadowed their claims of being a party with a difference.
AAP leaders Ashutosh and Shazia Ilmi now have no right to complain against the breakdown of law and order perpetrated by other parties in other States as they were called in for police questioning over this incident.
4. Funding: While AAP claimed to be the party with the cleanest funding, there have been many allegations against that claim and even the Centre is looking into the issue.
Finally a PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court over irregularities in foreign funding and it is now looking into the matter.
5. Gujarat visit: Ever since the Election Commission became strict with its Model Code of Conduct, violence has come down during elections and they have become well-managed.
However, Kejriwal doesn't believe in any of that. He went to Gujarat to attack BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and flouted EC norms and in the end the Gujarat Police filed a chargesheet against Kejriwal.
6. Mumbai airport drama: Another tamasha was enacted at Mumbai airport when a crowd breached security at the airport and even knocked down X-ray scanning structures and later they left in overcrowded autos and flouted traffic norms.
Now it was the turn of the Mumbai Police to file a chargesheet against Kejriwal.
7. Defamation case: Kejriwal and his party go around making endless allegations against all and sundry. Most have chosen not to respond to him, But Amit the son of Union Minister Kapil Sibal filed a defamation case. Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia didn't even bother to show up and were fined Rs 2500 each by the court for their absence. It is a dangerous sign that all the AAP leaders think themselves above the law and keep breaking it.
While all the major political parties have shown that they have no qualms in fielding criminals, AAP was the only party which stood out but in the end they have merely joined the rest of the gang. Many of their Lok Sabha candidates are also under a cloud themselves.
Kejriwal himself has taken such a high ground against criminals and politicians with court cases against them. Using those standards, he should quit politics since he has so many chargesheets against him!
The Delhi Police. The Gujarat Police. The Mumbai Police. The EC… AAP leaders create law and order situations wherever they go!
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogshere.