Over the years, Arvind Kejriwal has come a long way–from becoming a full-time agitator to at least something close to a Chief Minister–in the truest sense of the term. Kejriwal, who earlier this year won a decisive mandate to govern the national capital, is playing his cards extremely well and is not turning his party either into a Congress or a sycophantically Left one. Instead, Arvind Kejriwal is maintaining a nationalist image, while drawing a safe distance from the ideology of Hindutva. To the same effect, much to the dismay of a large section of his minority vote bank, Kejriwal’s government has granted its nod to the Delhi Police to prosecute the likes of Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and Faizal Khan.
Call it his smartness, survival instinct or basic politics, apart from the elections, one will not see Arvind Kejriwal constantly locking horns with the BJP or the Centre. This, due to the fact that the voters of the two parties are so similar in nature. Those who voted for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls of 2019 are somewhat the same individuals who voted for the Aam Aadmi Party early this year in Delhi’s elections. As such, fighting a continuous battle with the BJP will hurt the Aam Aadmi Party on the ground. Which is why, off late, the AAP government in Delhi is not proving to be a hindrance on the path of bringing anti-India and jihadist elements to justice for their misadventures.
Unlike in the case of Kanhaiya Kumar, where the AAP government had blocked prosecution by not giving their approval to the same, Arvind Kejriwal now seems to have understood that protecting and shielding those individuals who dream to break the country is simply political suicide and that he risks facing electoral annihilation if he continues to tread along the path of borderline sedition and shielding all-out separatists. While Umar Khalid is said to have played a pivotal role in organizing the anti-Hindu Northeast Delhi riots early this year along with former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, Sharjeel Imam is a radical Islamist who is said to have masterminded the Shaheen Bagh road-block, and who also dreams of cutting off India’s Northeast at the narrow ‘chicken-neck’.
It is not a sudden bout of reasonable sensibility that has struck Arvind Kejriwal. In fact, the AAP government in Delhi, and the party itself has for quite some time now, tried to keep conflicts with the Centre at a minimal. Take for instance the abrogation of Article 370, and Kejriwal’s unequivocal support to the Modi government’s historic decision. And then, on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act as well, the party maintained a safe distance from the fearmongering and lies of the Congress, Left and other irrelevant political fronts. The AAP also stayed away from a meeting of opposition parties in which 20 parties demanded the withdrawal of the CAA and said that the process of NPR should be stopped immediately.
When it came to the issue of Islamists blocking Shaheen Bagh and calling it a protest, Arvind Kejriwal maintained a safe distance from the illegal demonstrations and did not voice his explicit support for them. This, despite the fact that Kejriwal finds support among a large section of people who claimed to be protesting against CAA and NRC at Shaheen Bagh. While for such a vote bank of Kejriwal’s, being treated as an untouchable was tolerable, what has indeed agitated them–the far-left, Islamists and Congress sycophants alike–is the AAP government’s prosecution sanction against the likes of Umar, Sharjeel and Faizal.
As a consequence, what was witnessed on social media with news of the AAP government nodding to anti-India elements being prosecuted was a severe breakdown among India’s liberals and Islamo-fascists. Twitter was replete with talk of betrayal, revenge, conspiracy theories of AAP being from the RSS’ stables, among all the other hilarity.
In Delhi riots conspiracy case, AAP govt gives nod to prosecute Umar Khalid under UAPA. Muslims overwhelmingly voted for AAP in 2020. Kejriwal is paying back with interest.
— Sanghamitra (@AudaciousQuest_) November 6, 2020
The Delhi police have reportedly given sanctions to prosecute Umar Khalid under the UAPA.
Democracy is a joke in this country. It’s very clear that anyone who raises a voice or questions this govt. will be charged with something. And UAPA is always their go to.
— Andre Borges (@borges) November 6, 2020
— Musaddique Qazi (@mfmqazi) November 6, 2020
— Suchitra Vijayan (@suchitrav) November 6, 2020
— Aishe (ঐশী) (@aishe_ghosh) November 6, 2020
I'm happy for my friends in the US. Regardless of the final outcome, they can take solace in the fact that they at least have a real opposition. https://t.co/lr97GLS5iY
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) November 6, 2020
It seems that such people were of the impression that with an AAP government running the state, their anti-India activities would go on unchecked. However, Arvind Kejriwal is definitely not the fool many think him to be. With time, the man is maturing as a politician. In fact, he might just be the smartest of non-BJP leaders out there, who knows when to draw a line between being in opposition to the BJP and being in contestation to the national interest.