If there is one thing Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal thinks he is a pastmaster in, it is the politics of dharnas and his penchant for theatrics. If, in the process, he is identified as an anarchist he couldn’t care less.
In fact, he makes it look like a virtue in the cause of protecting the rights of the people of Delhi. Such labels do not bother him because he believes he can get away by hoodwinking people at large.
The Delhi chief minister is quick at finding alibis for non-performance and revels in finding scapegoats for everything that goes wrong under his control. There is always an alibi ready for explaining away failures.
Not for him the niceties of high administrative office and propriety of doing things. When it comes to the blame game, he is second to none.
The latest histrionics is the sit-in he launched at Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s residence on June 11 when he, his deputy Manish Sisodia and two of his ministers Gopal Rai and Satyendar Jain spent the night and the following day partaking in a dharna to push Lt Governor Baijal into ensuring the return to work of protesting Delhi cadre bureaucrats after a lapse of four months.
Lt Governor Baijal, familiar with Kejriwal’s style of working in the time of his predecessor Najeeb Jung was unrelenting and chose to let Delhi’s top elected representatives cool their heels while he slept.
Sleeping on sofas in the LG’s office, the chief minister and his minions defied all norms of civilized behaviour, imposing themselves on the Lt. Governor’s staff. Never has anyone encountered such obstinate high personages behaving in such a bizarre and unseemly manner.
Kejriwal, who met Baijal at Raj Bhavan with his cohorts, said on Twitter that the L-G had refused the Delhi government’s demands.
“We handed him this letter. LG refuses to take action. LG is under a constitutional duty to act. Left with no option, we have politely told LG that we will not leave till he acts on all points. We have come out of his chamber and are sitting in his waiting room.”
Kejriwal’s demands include punishing the IAS officers who have been boycotting meetings with AAP ministers for four months after the alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash by the party’s leaders. AAP had called the allegations against it bizarre.
Prakash had been manhandled by the party’s leaders when he went to the chief minister’s residence to discuss matters of state. Since then, the IAS fraternity had been boycotting meetings called by the AAP government leading to important decisions concerning the state not being attended to.
All it required of the chief minister to do was to express regret for the incident but the AAP government was not prepared to do that.
Earlier on Monday, Kejriwal had accused the Centre of ‘unleashing’ the lieutenant governor, IAS officials and agencies such as the CBI, ED, I-T Department and the Delhi Police on the AAP government to stall its functioning. “The strike is being orchestrated by the PMO and coordinated by the L-G,” Kejriwal said at a media conference in his classic style of victimhood.
The LG said Kejriwal “demanded that the (IAS) officers should be immediately summoned to Raj Niwas and directions should be given to end the so-called strike”. He said this was undesirable as he had already spoken to the officers about it.
The L-G’s office slammed Kejriwal’s sit-in, saying it was one more “dharna without reason”. A statement, issued by Baijal’s office on Tuesday evening stated that the L-G was “threatened”.
And so the issue festers on and Kejriwal and his team have one more alibi not to work on their election promises and their governance.