Is Arvind Kejriwal His Own Worst Enemy?

Once called a change-bearer Kejriwal is dubbed as drama-queen. He has failed miserably due to his own antics.

Similar was his attitude when barely 15 days back the Metropolitan Magistrate had asked Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal to furnish a personal bond in the Nitin Gadkari defamation case. His adamantine behavior made him spend him over a week in Tihar Jail. Later, he came to his senses and furnished the bail bond and was released on May 27.

It looked like he has learnt his lesson and just two days ago he furnished bail in another defamation case along with party leader Manish Sisodia and Yogendra Yadav. But the case became as usual difficult for Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha when she summoned both parties – Gadkari and Kejriwal – in the court today.

But Kejriwal showed same stubborn face and refused to withdraw his statement even after the Delhi court suggested that they “bury the hatchet” and seek an amicable resolution on the criminal defamation complaint filed by the BJP leader.

Gadkari had shown conciliatory signs saying that he just wanted the statement to be withdrawn and was ready to fight legal battle in which the charges of corruption may be inquired. Gadkari said, “Both Kejriwal and I are honest politicians. I do not wish to embarrass him. Just want defamatory statement withdrawn.”

BJP leader said that honesty was his political strength and his reputation his capital.

“I am an honest politician and damage has been caused to my reputation by the defamatory allegation levelled against me by Kejriwal. I don’t have any personal enmity against Kejriwal,” Gadkari said.

“I am ready to fight the legal battle. Let the inquiry against me proceed and charges be proved against me in public,” he further added.

Refusing to withdraw his statement, Kejriwal told the court, “I can’t withdraw my statement and allegation. I have documentary proof for all the allegations.

India Today reported the conversations from inside the courtroom:

Judge to Gadkari: If you want, you can bury the hatchet right now. You are both politicians who can use this time in a more meaningful manner.

Gadkari: I am okay if Kejriwal withdraws statements made against me.

Judge: Can you finish the matter on a friendly note? You have already won the elections.

Gadkari: I had a similar issue with Manish Tiwari. He apologised and I withdrew the case. For the loss of my image, credibility, who is responsible? I am not even asking for an apology. He just needs to withdraw the statement.

Judge to Kejriwal: You have come forward with an agenda. Yeh kis chakkar mein phass gaye? The whole world is looking up to you both for a model code of conduct. This is not a PRESTIGE ISSUE. If you have proof, file cases, bring the proof. Why make statements in media?

The Metropolitan Magistrate, thereafter, framed the notice under Section 251 of the CrPC (dealing with issuance of summons in such complaints), Sections 499 (Defamation) and 500 (whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both) against him and fixed the matter for recording of evidence of Gadkari and his witnesses on August 2.

“That on January 30, 2014, you made and published imputations/statements against the complainant Nitin Gadkari in the media stating that he is a corrupt politician and that people should see whether they should vote….,” the magistrate said in the order.

The court, however, has allowed the plea of Kejriwal seeking exemption from personal appearance.

After the court framed the notice, Kejriwal pleaded not guilty of the offence and claimed trial.

If at all Kejriwal is jailed under Section 500 which can get him maximum sentence of two years, his political life will be no less than over. It will refrain him from contesting elections under RP Act for at least next six year after he is released.

The point that Kejriwal is unable to understand that people still need him for the alternative politics that he provided to the country in the formative months of AAP. They may have deviated from the path a wee-bit, but there is a hope that the party can revive if Kejriwal takes the necessary steps. But he chooses to spend his energy over something which can be resolved amicably. Not to forget, the long legal battle that he will have to fight will need this energy. But Kejriwal denies to shun his arrogance.

After his blow to former Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit, he started to think that he is invincible and that arrogance has left him with nothing. Taking on Narendra Modi rather than choosing a safe seat to ensure presence in Lok Sabha and provide a good opposition has made him a sinking ship where open fissures are drowning its image.

His synonymity with AAP led to the focus of his party members and money into Varanasi leaving other potential fighters like Kumar Vishwas and Shazia Ilmi to fend for themselves. Taking Delhi voters for granted added to the situation and the result is in front of everyone. Now Vishwas is silent and Ilmi has left the party. Even Yogendra Yadav who believed in his own image came a distant fourth.

Kejriwal should understand his own worth in real terms now. Humility never let anyone down. And being stubborn is childish. His place is in parliament and not in jail. He should stop being his own worst enemy.

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