Whether you like AAP head honcho Arvind Kejriwal or not, one thing is clear. He is a lone operator and isn’t dependant on anyone for the long run. People may come and go in his mission, but he plods on alone.
The number of people who were once part of his anti-corruption campaign, subsequent party or his overall roadmap and have been totally sidelined is pretty long considering Kejriwal entered the national limelight only in 2011 and first became Chief Minister in December 2013.
A look at some of the people who have been sidelined in some form or the other by Kejriwal in his campaigns or those who quit the AAP outright…Yogendra Yadav:
He was the main voice of the party and his mellow and logical-sounding arguments dominated many a TV channel. In terms of TV appearances, the two probably stood out in the AAP.
He came in as an outsider and soon became an integral part of Kejriwal’s team. But it seems that he has outlived his utility. Kicked out of the national committee, there is a move to expel him.Prashant Bhushan:
He had been involved in a whopping 500+ Public Interest Litigations and was the legal brain behind the AAP. He was indispensable when AAP was a struggling newcomer facing many court cases.
However today Kejriwal is sitting pretty with 67/70 MLAs and is CM till 2020. Like Yadav, Prashant can also be done away with.Anna Hazare:
It is inconceivable that Kejriwal would have gotten anywhere without Anna. Kejriwal was already a Magsaysay Award winner in 2006 but he was nowhere on the national political stage.
Kejriwal piggybacked on Anna’s 2011 popularity and soon left him behind in 2012. While Anna refused to have Kejriwal on the stage in the recent land agitation, he had to relent because today Kejriwal is far ahead of Anna in the public mind space.Kiran Bedi:
They were equals under Anna and boosted each other, but after August Kranti, Bedi’s fortunes went down and Kejriwal’s up. Kejriwal totally destroyed Bedi during the 2015 Delhi polls.Shanti Bhushan:
He was the patriarch of the AAP and their political mentor, having served as Law Minister under the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai in the 1970s. But he was the first to be sidelined when Kejriwal became CM for the first time in 2013.Anjali Damania:
Her following Tweet sums up everything…I quit.. Ihave not come into Aap for this nonsense. I believed him.. I backed Arvind for principles not Horse-trading
This Tweet posted a TV news report that featured a sting operation involving Kejriwal. Madhu Bhaduri:
One of the first senior women members of the AAP, she was the first one to go even saying things like “AAP doesn't treat women as humans.” Kejriwal made absolutely no efforts to stop her.Somnath Bharti:
His midnight raids were strongly defended by Kejriwal and he even went on a dharna over the issue. Kejriwal needed Bharti then, but now he is in a position of absolute power and he kept him out of the Cabinet the second time around.Shazia Ilmi:
She was the likeable soft media face of the AAP and her media experience helped in getting AAP’s message get across in TV debates. She was also let go quite easily once AAP achieved its goal of coming to power.Vinod Kumar Binny:
The first time around the AAP had only 28 MLAs short of the half-way mark, but Binny was among the first MLAs to be jettisoned thanks to his dissenting views.Captain Gopinath:
At first the AAP wanted as many celebrities as it could get and that’s why it welcomed people like Gopinath. When he became one of the first dissenters some spokespersons even said that he had never joined AAP in the first placeRakhi Birlan:
She was a minister in the first Kejriwal cabinet but the second Kejriwal ministry was all-male and she was kept out for what reason nobody has even asked. There’s hardly any news of Rakhi nowadays.
Of course there are many others like Ashok Agarwal, MS Dhir, Maulana Maqsood Ali Kazmi, Nutan Thakur, Ashwini Upadhyaya and thousands and thousands of workers who quit the party one by one.
He has also been associated with the likes of Aruna Roy and Medha Patkar but in the long run doesn’t seem to need any of them.
With people going left, right and centre. Kejriwal has emerged stronger and stronger!Read More from the author: 6 things to note about the Nirbhaya documentary...Come let’s outrage at the drop of a hat!Why #EssarLeaks is actually a big yawn...9 stories which the media has underplayed…
Why February Kranti is no August Kranti!The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here
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