Is Kejriwal suffering a breakdown?

Last Updated: Thu, Jun 16, 2016 17:50 hrs
Kejriwal offers to resign as AAP convenor

After a CBI raid on his official premises in December 2015, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) Tweeted…

It was a strange tweet showing great mental strain because it was coming from a high office with a verified Twitter account. However, in the evening, it got even more bizarre when a shaking and shouting Kejriwal accused Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of diverting attention in the DDCA scam.

His angry finger pointing left even some of his diehard supporters perplexed.

But now some months after that incident, Kejriwal faces the biggest challenge of his political career as 21/67 of AAP MLAs face disqualification over the office of profit issue. When the much respected and aged President Pranab Mukherjee turned down a bill that would have protected the above MLAs, he was soundly attacked by Kejriwal.

That had twitterati outraged and they trended the hashtag #KejriwalInsultsPresident. Unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi who gets regularly attacked by many groups, Pranabda is among the most respected politicians of India.

After that Kejriwal’s Twitter handle (@ArvindKejriwal) went totally berserk. While the Delhi Police directly comes under Home Minister Rajnath Singh, this particularly case was different.

The President had to make his call in consultation with the Election Commission. Both offices seem to have ruled against Kejriwal, so it was a bit odd to bring in Modi, but attack Modi hammer and tongs he did.

AK-67 (as he was called after his win in the last Assembly elections) fired Twitter bullet after bullet in rage. His followers (8 million in number) were told that Modi was petrified of him and obsessed with nothing but Kejriwal.

Modi still cannot digest his defeat in the Delhi polls. Modi is scared of AAP's rise in Goa. Modi is preventing work in the Delhi Assembly. Modi is always on foreign tours and concentrates on Kejriwali the moment he returns. Modi is scared of the good work in Delhi.

Modi is working 24X7 to bring Kejriwal down. Kejriwal is Tweeting 24X7 about this. There is even something called the Rs 50000 crore “Modi coal scam” which we seem to have missed.

A bizarre retweet was: “Still sleeps on ground in a two room rented flat.Do you call this office of profit Mr. PM ? #OfficeOfProfit” accompanied by a photo of two people in a room.
(This was proof that his MLAs were not using office of profit!)

We have been living in a film censor raj ever since first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru instituted the censor board. But Udta Punjab finally got a great reprieve by the Bombay High Court and it was a great victory of freedom of expression and creativity.

But Kejriwal even had to make that landmark decision an attack on Modi…
And at the end of all this drama, he declared in a press conference: Want to request Modiji with folded hands that do whatever you want to me but don't let the people of Delhi suffer. (And he actually folded his hands while doing this!)

No wonder #मोदी_भक्त_केजरीवाल (Modi Bhakt Kejriwal) was the top Twitter trend at that time!

The reason why Kejriwal stands on the verge of a political meltdown is because governance in Delhi has broken down. Get up and smell the coffee, Mr Kejriwal! Twitter is flooded with horror tales of power outages, chronic water shortages and garbage pile-ups. The media only highlights that once in a while.

Kejriwal has been totally unable to solve these many crises. But his bravado continues.

When there was a power shortage in an area, Kejriwal instead of finding a solution, went and threatened an official, allowed a video to be made out of it and actually retweeted it!
 
Then he threatened industrialist Anil Ambani and accused him of corruption (without proof as usual) as if that is a sure shot way of getting him to ensure 24X7 power supply.

Water shortages are also getting out of hand. A YouTube a video showed women fighting for water in Delhi. A newspaper reported on that. Instead of investigating the area of the water shortage, Kejriwal got the reporter sacked! (Reports say that social media outrage got him re-instated though.)

Weird letters sent by Kejriwal to Lieutenant-Governor Najib Jung started doing the rounds in social media. Kejriwal threatened the L-G to file FIRs and send the CBI and ACB over hospitals being built and a good solar policy. He used childish and threatening language.

Kejriwal accused the L-G of doing illegal things at the behest of Modi. He said that no matter what the L-G did for Modi; the latter would never make him the Vice President of India! While most people thought this was a hoax, Kejriwal actually retweeted one of these letters!
Then he bizarrely retweeted a most megalomaniac cartoon of himself. In it Kejriwal is a lone crusader with a Janshakti sword fighting the dark clouds of Modi, his Cabinet, money power, the might of corporates and other politicians of India. Take a look at that cartoon for yourself… 
Now here’s the thing: There are hundreds of leaders who may have seen such sycophantic cartoons made of themselves. But here was a case of a leader actually retweeting the cartoon himself!

This tells of a great deal about his mental make-up and what he believes in. From 2011 he has been presented as India’s only messiah against corruption. In 2014 he was presented as the only man who could stop Modi in his tracks.

Then the spectacular Delhi election victory was supposed to stop Modi’s 2019 dreams, with Bihar being the cementing case. The media has built him up to be some sort of messiah and he has actually started believing in that.

But it has all fallen apart pretty soon. Modi marches on without a second thought of Kejriwal. The BJP’s Assam victory and great gains in Kerala and West Bengal has been a reality check.

Meanwhile the citizens of Delhi are getting restive over civic issues, which are more important to them than Modi. When you are suffering dry taps and the heat of Delhi with stinking garbage outside your house, it becomes quite difficult to even listen to a delusional messiah spouting non-stop conspiracy theories.

More importantly, 21 MLAs might well be disqualified and Kejriwal will face the people of Delhi with a major election just one year after his 2015 victory.

In the end Kejriwal is left with just his delusions and on the road to suffer a total political breakdown!


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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here