AAP Chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was embroiled in a political embroglio over 33 defamation suits filed against him by leaders of the opposition who found charges made against them over the last three years “derogatory”.
Over the past two weeks the Delhi Chief Minister is on a ludicrous apology spree that became a spectacle among the political circles with leaders tagging him with misnomers like Arvind “Sorry” Kejriwal.
Kejriwal’s apology mode began last fortnight with Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal closing the cases lodged against him. Kejriwal was acquitted in two separate defamation cases filed against him by Sibal and Gadkari.
However what marked as an end to Kejriwal’s wall of woes and culminated the end of the 33 defamation suits filed against him was the withdrawal of defamation case filed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against Kejriwal related to the DDCA row.
In his written letter of apology moved before the Delhi High Court framed by the AAP convenors ,Sanjay Singh Ashutosh and Raghav Chaddha, Kejriwal stated,-” These allegations made by me were based on information and papers furnished to me by certain individuals who represented to have first-hand insight into the affairs of Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA). ”
Jaitley filed two cases against Kejriwal seeking compensation of 20 crores, which were dismissed via court settlement.
However Kejriwal’s string of apologies has caused a furore among the AAP leaders unit who do not approve of his act. According to sources the various cases have exhausted the party’s funds and resources and are also deviating proper governance at Delhi.
Last week when Kejriwal tendered an apology to Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia for his accusations of the latter’s involvement in drug trade, it sparked a rebellion in a section of AAP’s Punjab unit. Subsequently, Kejriwal had a meeting with the lawmakers of the Punjab legislative assembly to avert a split in the party.
But still, some of his peers cannot come to terms with his “Sorry syndrome”. Disgruntled by his stance, former party member Anjali Damania lashed out Kejriwal asking why he published the list of 20 corrupt politicians in the first place if he eventually pledged to bend down against them.
“It is extremely upsetting to see Arvind seeking an apology from Gadkari despite concrete evidences given by me. Why on the earth had the AAP issued a list of 20 most corrupt politicians if they were to back off meekly?” added Damania.
Gadkari had filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal after the AAP chief slammed him as “India’s most corrupt politician.”
In a similar vein, Amit Sibal had filed a case against Kejriwal on the premise that the AAP chief alleged Sibal having reservations in seeking to revise tax demand on telecom major Vodafone.
Kejriwal along with his deputy Manish Sisodia jointly apologized to Congress leader Amit Sibal for charging him with discrepancies in the Vodafone tax deal.
Both the ruling party at the centre and the opposition have trained their guns on the AAP chief for his “politics of sensationalism”.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “There is a sorry Chief Minister in the country. He should change his name to Arvind Sorry Kejriwal. This is just the beginning of his trail of saying sorry, and not the end.”
“He also has to apologise to the people of Delhi and the country, whom he has deceived,” added Surjewala.
What makes Kejriwal look like a cornered cat in this situation may also be one of his election rhetorics, in an attempt to snap the voltage of governance ahead of the 2019 elections, Delhi being the incumbent flashpoint of national politics.
Kejriwal’s volley of apologies may have ended but it certainly sets the trend for the new political drama ahead of the 2019 elections for sure with every party’s implicit election agenda playing tricks.