Arvind Kejriwal is no stranger to controversies. Be that as it may, the man has single-handedly swept the state of Punjab with 92 seats. Punjab’s Vidhan Sabha has 117 members, and for the Aam Aadmi Party to win 92 seats was definitely no easy feat. The landslide victory of AAP, which saw voters supporting the party cutting across religious and caste-based lines, comes with many caveats. On an immediate basis, many people are concerned about the implications of AAP’s victory on national security.
Punjab is a border state. It has, in the past, suffered the brunt of militancy. Khalistani separatism is looking to be revived by Pakistan and its proxies around the world once again. Khalistanis in Canada, Germany, the UK, and other countries are making a consistent push to kick Punjab into the mouth of violence once again.
This is what concerns many. Aam Aadmi Party has been hobnobbing with Khalistanis since 2017. It has used them as a foundational stone in Punjab, atop which the party’s castle has today grown. Will Arvind Kejriwal, who allegedly told Kumar Vishwas that he would one day become Prime Minister of Khalistan, actually support an armed militancy?
We don’t know. But the fact that such a proposition is being made in the first place, apart from the likelihood of the AAP government indeed engaging in such activities, is a thought scary enough. Such a possibility should not have arisen in the first place. That it has really speaks volumes about Arvind Kejriwal’s commitment to India’s national security and sovereignty.
Kejriwal’s Dangerous Trespasses
Those who have followed Kejriwal’s political trajectory closely understand that the man has a rather colourful past associated with the Balkanization of India. As reported by TFI in 2018, Gurcharan Singh, a member of once banned Dal Khalsa claimed that his group campaigned and even funded AAP during the 2017 Punjab state assembly elections.
Kejriwal, during the canvassing process in Punjab in 2017, had even stayed in the house of Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF) activist Gurwinder Singh. As reported by TFI, in 2018 former AAP member of parliament from Patiala, Dharamvir Gandhi in Punjab had come out in support of the Khalistan referendum. In an objectionable statement inciting radical elements, he had stated that people have the democratic and legal right to demand a separate homeland.
Bhagwant Mann – Puppet CM, or Kejriwal’s Nemesis?
Arvind Kejriwal is currently the chief minister of a half-state. Being the “chief minister” of Delhi has not really satiated Kejriwal. He wants something bigger and better. In Delhi, he practically has no powers. The biggest bane for him is that he has no police force under his control.
Punjab could have been Kejriwal’s out. But Bhagwant Mann swooped in and demanded the CM chair for himself. Now, Kejriwal is in a position where AAP has won Punjab, but he faces the prospect of losing out on his dream job. Bhagwant Mann is going to be made Punjab’s chief minister. He will either run a puppet government that is controlled by Arvind Kejriwal or will take consistent steps to undercut Arvind Kejriwal within the party.
Arvind Kejriwal wants more than just Delhi. He wants to be a man with authority and power. Sadly for him, Bhagwant Mann has emerged within the AAP as the most powerful person who most likely, will refuse to take standing orders from Kejriwal.
That will turn Mann into an arch-nemesis of Arvind Kejriwal. It is public knowledge how Kejriwal has dealt with competition within the party in the past. Whether it be showing the door to co-founders like Yogendra Yadav or Prashant Bhushan, or leaders like Kumar Vishwas – Kejriwal has a voracious capacity to purge. Bhagwant Mann might meet a similar resistance and subsequent ouster.
Where will such a civil war within the Aam Aadmi Party leave Punjab? One can only imagine how governance will take a back seat as an all-out power struggle breaks out between Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann.