Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is having a hard-hitting week. Criticism, allegations, lack of experience and major and minor threats have encircled the party entirely. It was just a day ago that Delhi police had received threat alerts from Indian Mujahideen to abduct Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for release of Yasin Bhatkal. But Arvind Kejriwal was undaunted with such serious threats of terror attacks and decided to sit on a dharna on Monday, January 20 outside Rail Bhavan demanding the suspension of five policemen.
The episode started last week when Cabinet Minister Somnath Bharti conducted a raid on the African residents in Khirki village. The women on whom raid was conducted filed a complaint against Bharti for detaining them and molesting them on the night and used abusive language against them. The government accused the women as a part of the prostitution and drug racket and demanded their arrest. The minister was also charged with passing of racist remarks against the Africans. When asked Bharti who is an active member of AAP about the incident, he clearly denied and stated that he will someday prove them as a part of drug and sex racket of South Delhi. Kejriwal accused the policemen of defying Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti's order to arrest the Ugandan women and to show his protest against it, he went for a dharna.
The dharna drew Delhi chief minister fierce criticism from both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress. BJP called the protest as 'anarchic and a gimmick'; while Congress commented that government cannot be run from the streets. Arvinder Singh, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president described the move of Kejriwal as unconstitutional and that he is trying to protect his ministers. He added that Kejriwal cannot draw line between running a government and activism. Union Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde asked Kejriwal to maintain the dignity of the office that he holds and that he should cooperate with the police and wait till the judicial probe is over. BJP leaders also commented on such a move to be a 'mock fight' between AAP and its ally. They admitted that the issues raised by AAP were important but the way it was highlighted was not at all acceptable. All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Sanjay Nirupam asked Kejriwal to stop the 'drama' which he is doing for several days and to concentrate on governance.
When asked, Arvind Kejriwal admitted to be an anarchist and that the suspension of five police officials is only what they want. He soon changed his demand from suspension of the cops and asked to grant transfer orders to them. Later changing his decision again Kejriwal stated that he would not settle less than police department being placed under Delhi government. Finally he settled down for paid leave of two policemen till the enquiry report of the incident is submitted by the judicial committee.
It will be interesting to watch that how Kejriwal does a fine balance between activism, populism and governance. Another feature of his poll promise which was regarding Mohalla committees under the sawarj initiative would pan out over the entire country if the mob or vigilante justice would be encouraged by the government itself. Print and TV media are keeping a good watch on each activity of AAP and on Arvind Kejriwal for now.