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IndiaKejriwal's recent rant is a self-goal in Punjab

Kejriwal’s recent rant is a self-goal in Punjab


In a morass, the state wants a dynamic not ‘victimised' leader.

Harmeet Shah Singh

Google “Kejriwal” and “development” together in the search bar and you'll get 443,000 results.


Now replace the word “development” with “Modi” and see the figure shooting up to 990,000!


Well, that's more than double the Delhi chief minister's online betrothal with what the city cries out for most.


It's not for no reason that this gap between Aam Aadmi Party leader's commitment to development – an overarching term for health, infrastructure, transport, housing and education – and his obsession with the prime minister is yawning.


He indeed is spending too much time pumping out oxygenated clichés on Modi, much more than addressing civic issues of the city he presides over.


This week, the chief minister of the national capital, made a public statement about threats to his own life.


His comments caused no serious stir even though he's the top elected representative of Delhi.

The blatant manner with which his MLAs are being haunted and hounded by the city police – under command of the BJP-ruled Centre – isn't either bothering the citizenry much.


It's perhaps because Kejriwal's victim card, which he used ad nauseam, has worn to shreds.

Isolated politically, the AAP chief, on his own, has appointed social media as a referee for his boxing match with a formidable BJP under Modi and Amit Shah.

But the game rests on the premise of throwing punches and getting them back. Playing victim doesn't work in this match.

In too, the tactic has failed miserably in most parts of the if not backed by pro-active, aggressive policy debates.

I am not sure how many ordinary residents of Delhi under his watch honestly see him suppressed.

If the majority, which voted him to power in 2015, doesn't, it perhaps means he has landed himself in a cul-de-sac of his own making.

His next stop is , 's border state with a complex set of its own challenges, which he aims to use as a launch pad to take off nationally.

It's a state with its own peculiar temperament. Issues there vary hugely from Delhi. You have farmers committing suicides because of crippling debts.

The state's male-female ratio is precariously imbalanced because of sex-selective abortions.

Drugs have infected an entire generation, and pesticides have penetrated deep into depleting groundwater. Corruption is a bit too deeply entrenched in the state's bureaucracy, let alone the political establishment.

Punjab shares a border with Pakistan, a route notorious for smuggling the contraband in.

It's a route that's also a security concern.

And historically, it's the region that resisted aggression and power abuse by foreign and domestic rulers alike.

It's then quite a paradox that Kejriwal, with all his command in Delhi as its chief minister, has come out with a death-threat rant at a time when his eyes are set on Punjab.

Does he want Punjab to secure him like a hen clucking her chickens into her warm wings? Or is Punjab craving for a dependable and dynamic leader to lift it from the morass which it's sinking into?

(The writer is associate executive producer at India Today TV)

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