Sunday, April 13, 2014

What will Kejriwal do after May 16th?

What will Arvind Kejriwal do next? Let us look at the options he has and what that points to.

Before we get there, let us take a close look at history. He left his job at Tata Steel and joined the IRS which he left soon after. He was elected as Chief Minister of Delhi with Congress support. He quit this post after 49 days and began to campaign against, not, Sonia Gandhi but Narendra Modi. That would be a bit of a googly, after birthing a party from the remnants of the Indian against Corruption movement which had the Congress party in its crosshairs. But let us leave that aside for the moment. Let us see where will Kejriwal be after 16 th May.

It is near impossible that Kejriwal will win in Varanasi against Narendra Modi. Considering he is only fighting one seat, that is perhaps an end to his national political career at this point.

So, will he stand for election again at Delhi?

Let us assume that he does - and we still do not know how his party will perform in the Delhi LS polls – where they are fighting all 7 seats. By the time a Delhi re-election will be announced –if the verdict on 16 th May is towards a BJP led government, his party could well struggle in those elections – as recent surveys show – both Congress and BJP are gaining lost ground. After having admitted that his resignation was ill-thought out, does it mean he will go back and fight? And if the electorate will buy that line remains to be seen.

But he may win. And return as a member of Delhi assembly.

But becoming Chief Minister again a second time may well need an alliance with the Congress given the numbers. Is that what he wants from a National footprint perspective? Allying with the Congress again? And what does that mean for his national ambitions – is AAP just another Congress ally?

But that still does not answer a basic question.

What is Kejriwal after?

He gave up Delhi because he could not, ostensibly, pass a Lokpal bill, and that situation has not changed since the time he resigned. Is he planning to govern Delhi - assuming the electorate wants it – given his recent admission that the resignation was ill thought may well indicate that.

Or is he planning to work on building his ragtag party into a national party over the next 5 years?

Clearly, he did not want to make a difference in Parliament, else he would have contes Uuuuuted another seat and come victorious to a Parliament and make a difference as an MP?

All of these are tough jobs – CM, AAP National or as MP - his daily media soundbites will end and he will have to knuckle down to do some solid work through those 5 years.

And here is where the history matters.

History has shown that Kejriwal has not taken responsibility of anything. Neither at his job. Nor at his government posting. Nor at his elected position. By aiming Modi (and most likely failing) he has ensured that he will have practically no role in Parliament for the next 5 years either.

So, is his core competence running away from responsibility? Will he go back to agitprop again? Will he raise rabble in streets against the new government? And, more importantly, if he does, do people have the patience to bear with him again? Unless he makes a comeback as a Chief Minister and continues to raise hell against a new, potentially, Modi government?

Interesting to watch him after May 16 th . And perhaps then we will know, Aam aadmi party ka haath, kiske saath!

(This post was also my debut post at Firstpost)

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