From graft activist to 'scamster': Kejriwal's journey

Arvind Kejriwal, the prominent figure who led the ‘India Against Corruption‘ movement and served as Delhi’s chief minister three times consecutively, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday. This development marks a significant chapter in the career of the former bureaucrat-turned-activist-turned-politician.

Kejriwal’s arrest coincides with a crucial period for his party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), as it is actively engaging in electoral politics in collaboration with the Congress under the INDIA bloc for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, Haryana, and Gujarat.

The 55-year-old national convener of AAP has been instrumental in shaping the party’s strategies and plans for the Lok Sabha elections. His absence due to arrest casts a shadow of uncertainty over the party’s electoral prospects, especially considering that many other senior leaders of AAP are either incarcerated or politically marginalized.

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Kejriwal’s Political Journey

His trusted associates, including Sanjay Singh and Manish Sisodia, are currently in prison in connection with various cases, further adding to the challenges faced by the party leadership. Kejriwal’s journey in politics began when he led AAP to victory in forming the government in Delhi in 2013, with external support from the Congress.

Despite initial successes, Kejriwal’s tenure as the chief minister lasted only 49 days, as he resigned following the inability to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly. However, buoyed by the electoral gains of AAP in Delhi, he led the party to a landslide victory in the subsequent assembly elections, securing 67 out of 70 seats.

Over the years, Kejriwal has maintained a focus on issues such as health, education, water, and electricity supply, despite facing criticism for various decisions. Emerging from the anti-corruption movement of 2011, AAP, founded by Kejriwal and his associates, has emerged as the third-largest national party in India, with a presence in several states beyond Delhi and Punjab.

Throughout his political journey, Kejriwal has displayed adaptability and flexibility, whether it be forming alliances with opposition parties or adopting different political approaches. However, his recent arrest in connection with a corruption case poses a significant challenge to AAP’s claims of pursuing corruption-free governance and alternative politics.

The arrest of Kejriwal marks a departure from his earlier image as a leader committed to fighting corruption, as he now finds himself entangled in legal proceedings. Despite the hurdles, Kejriwal’s journey from a relatively unknown activist to a prominent political figure in India reflects the dynamic nature of Indian politics.

William Murphy

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