Arvind Kejriwal is missing in action. He is frequently seen addressing the media and folding his hands before the Prime Minister, but he is not seen working. Arvind Kejriwal, we are given to understand, has proven to be a disaster for Delhi. He doesn’t seem equipped to deal with a public health crisis of the magnitude which has struck the national capital. The most that Kejriwal can do is spend 125 crore rupees over a period of three months on self-promotional advertisements and paid campaigns. What is worse, the AAP-led Delhi government has earmarked over 450 crore rupees as a ‘promotional budget’ for the financial year 2021-22.
A lot could have been done in Delhi if the said amount were diverted towards ramping up medical infrastructure, building PSA oxygen plants, adding beds to hospitals, constructing more isolation and treatment facilities, etc. As a matter of fact, the Delhi government was not even required to pay for the oxygen plants, as they are still to be funded by the PM CARES fund. Yet, despite the Centre paying for such oxygen plants, the seemingly inept Kejriwal-led government was able to build only one such PSA plant until April 18 – seven short of the target.
Arvind Kejriwal by himself has been able to achieve nothing in the past year that the pandemic has been with us. On all occasions, the elected chief minister has counted on ‘others’ and ‘higher powers’ to salvage the situation in the national capital and prevent Delhi from becoming the Covid-capital of the world. When something is to be done, despite holding the L-G in contempt, Arvind Kejriwal rushes to his office. When it comes to securing oxygen supplies for the capital, Kejriwal folds his hands before PM Modi and requests his guidance.
However, when help does reach, Kejriwal once again retires into his cocoon – from which he reappears only to hog credit for all that is being done to address the pandemic woes of the people of Delhi. The positivity rate in Delhi has skyrocketed to 35%. This is a startling figure, indicative of low testing and high symptomatic seroprevalence. For a ‘state’ with such a high positivity rate, one would have thought that the chief minister would be doing all in his power to ensure normalcy returns as soon as possible. However, that is not what Kejriwal does. His modus operandi is rather unique.
The only thing Kejriwal is known for is his socialist freebies. Handling a healthcare crisis is way above his league. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that every time cases surge in the national capital, the Union Home Minister – Amit Shah and his ministry have to step in to take charge. Building hospitals, adding new beds, ensuring medical supplies, bringing in more healthcare workers to the frontline – Amit Shah does it all. After the situation is brought under control, Arvind Kejriwal resurfaces and attempts to claim all credit for saving Delhi, even though the national capital would be doing much better in fighting the pandemic without him.
What Delhi needs right now is a chief minister, and Arvind Kejriwal is anything but that. By continuing on his post with truckloads of inefficiency to account for, Kejriwal is doing a disservice to the people of Delhi. Being clueless during a crisis is not a trait, which leaders can afford to have, and if they do, they must simply step aside.