The rift between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Delhi police is getting wider every day it seems.
Apart from the fact that Kejriwal is planning to hold a dharna outside the Home Ministry, insisting that four police officers who refused to arrest some Ugandan nationals without a warrant on the orders of law minister Somnath Bharti are immediately suspended, the CM has now accused the police of 'playing politics' by warning him of an Indian Mujahideen threat to his life.
In a series of tweets last night, Kejriwal not only refused to accept the Z category security that the police want to give him, but also said that in 'leaking' the IM threat to him, the police were 'playing politics'.
"I wud urge police to stop playing politics. Rather than giving security to me, let them deploy these men for aam aadmi's security," he said. "Police officials met me in afternoon. Informed me abt threat. Asked me not to disclose it to media. Den dey themselves went and told media. By announcing this, haven't police made me vulnerable. Now anyone can attack and it wud be said that Bhatkal's men did it.Is delhi police so foolish or r they playing politics? At whose instance?"
"I am not afraid of my life. As i said, i strongly believe in God. Will not take any security", he added.
Kejriwal also announced that he would go ahead and hold the dharna outside the Home Ministry, despite the police imposing prohibitory orders in the city, preventing the assembly of five or more people.
"Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in New Delhi district. If anyone has any grievance of any sort, then they may contact the local SHO or the local Deputy Commissioner of Police instead of gathering anywhere or staging a protest in New Delhi district area," Delhi Police PRO Rajan Bhagat told media.
Police maintained that the precautionary step has been taken in view of the Republic Day, though it is six days away.
The only concession that Kejriwal gave to the police in this regard, was that he asked people not to come for the dharna, insisting that only MLA's would sit on protest.
"I along wid all ministers and MLAs, will sit on dharna outside home min office for the sake of women security. In view of republic day preps, i urge supporters and public not to come for dharna. Only MLAs will sit. No one else shud come pl", he tweeted.
He once again reiterated that AAP was right to insist on the suspension of policemen, not only in the case of them refusing to arrest African nationals without a warrant, but also in the case of their 'laxity' in the gangrape of a Danish woman, and their refusal to arrest those responsible for the murder of a woman - again without a warrant.
While AAP's dharna and Kejriwal's continuing refusal to accept a higher level of security are likely to win him a huge sympathy wave among the Delhi electorate, what is worrying about this entire episode, is that Kejriwal's actions seem to smack of majoritarian politics.
Especially with regard to the harassment of the African nationals in Delhi, the fact that he continues to call the episode a 'drug and sex racket' and sees absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that his minister marched into someone's residence and threatened the inhabitants with no warrant and what was essentially a mob, is not only problematic, but also smacks of moral policing. It could form a precedent in which people will think nothing of barging into one another's houses on cooked up charges of 'drugs' and 'prostitution'. If there is no need to provide any kind of proof for these charges, we could see a situation where any party or gathering of people could be stopped by vigilante mobs who are backed by the state government.
Kejriwal and AAP are quite clearly trying to drum up more support ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, now that they have announced their national ambitions. However, pandering to a majority and a constant insistence that the will of the people must be upheld at all times is not the way to go about it. They need to get out of anti-establishment mode now, because like it or not, the people voted for them and they are the establishment now.
Perhaps if Kejriwal acted like the head of the state government and actually showed us what his governance vision is, that could be a little more convincing. Because his actions right now, don't really inspire confidence that he is 'different' to the rest of the political spectrum. He is also pandering to the majority at the cost of governance. And if this is his 'alternative', will the people really buy it?
Your guide to the latest cricket World Cup stories, analysis, reports, opinions, live updates and scores on https://www.firstpost.com/firstcricket/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019.html. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates throughout the ongoing event in England and Wales.
Updated Date: Jan 20, 2014 09:53:33 IST