Crash! Bang! Wallop! Arvind Kejriwal and the art of staying in the news

"We are winning (in Punjab)," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told a group of journalists in February at his residence. "Delhi will be repeated in Punjab."

Kejriwal  was referring to the Punjab Assembly election, which is due to be held in 2017 where his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will be contesting.

File photo of Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

File image of Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

Calling the next Assembly election a "revolution" which would uproot the "corrupt" and "non-performing" Akali-BJP regime, Kejriwal has jumped head first into the campaign and AAP is doing everything in its power to gain momentum and make it to the everyday headlines.

Kicking off the campaign, Kejriwal initially targeted the ruling parties and others contesting over the growing problem of drug abuse in the state and farmers' suicides.

Late in April, the party raked up the farmers' suicide issue and claimed people of the state are "yearning" for a change.

Kejriwal claimed that in Punjab Assembly polls next year, AAP's performance will be good and "Congress will go to zero while Akalis will be reduced below 10 seats".

AAP has also attacked state’s Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), alleging that both the parties have “ruined” every household there through “corruption” and “drug menace”, reports Hindustan Times.

On Monday, Kejriwal also released a Punjabi song Ek Nasha: Nashe ke Khilaf written and sung by fellow AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, aimed at weaning the people of the state away from drugs and narcotics.

Although the party is yet to announce the chief ministerial candidate for the state, the opposition is vary of the threat in light of the 2015 elections in Delhi, where AAP secured 67 of the 70 seats.

But for all the effort put in by the party in the run up to the elections, one cannot help but feel that the party is, at times, foraying into uncharted territory just to stay relevant in the run-up.

Launching a frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Delhi chief minister recently said the Centre was "scared" of taking action against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the AgustaWestland chopper scam. "Why is the central government not arresting Sonia Gandhi when she is involved in the AgustaWestland scam - because Modi does not have the courage to arrest her," he said addressing a protest at Jantar Mantar over the AgustaWestland scam.

Then there is the entire degree row with Modi.

Alleging PM of having fake graduation and post graduation degrees and claiming there were “serious discrepancies” in the mark sheets, RTI queries were put in demanding the same.

Kejriwal even alleged that some media houses were asked "not to touch" the controversy over PM's degree in series of tweets.

On Monday, when the degrees were finally produced in a press conference by none other than BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, AAP was quick to dismiss the documents claiming “there are several discrepancies in Modi’s BA and MA degrees and the mark sheets have been forged.”

“It’s not about whether the PM should be a graduate or post graduate — we never raised this issue and it’s neither important that the PM must be a graduate or post graduate. Our contention is that a person in the post of prime minister shouldn’t make false claims related to his educational qualifications by producing fake certificates. He shouldn’t tell lies to the nation. It’s a criminal breach of trust,” AAP Delhi secretary, Dilip Pandey told Firstpost.

Members of AAP now plan to go to the Delhi University and meet the Central Public information Officer (CPIO) to inspect documents related to PM Modi’s BA degree.

AAP's desire to remain in the news cycle is understandable, any political party would desire the same. But at times, this desire seems so overpowering in Kejriwal's case that it risks the party's credibility and future standing among the aam aadmis of the nation.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: May 10, 2016 13:41 PM

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