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Kejriwal feeling fresh & fit: Now AAP and Delhi CM's 'clean image' need treatment courtesy internal rifts and audio stings
Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will be back in Delhi today after undergoing a 10-day naturopathy treatment of his high sugar level and cough in Bengaluru. Kejriwal in a tweet today said that his sugar level was in control and he was not coughing at all and is ready to resume his duties. But what may trouble Kejriwal post his naturopathy treatment is a serious allegation of horse-trading against his 'clean politician' image.

As Arvind Kejriwal was out for the treatment, Rajesh Garg, an ex-AAP MLA allegedly leaked out a audio tape which tried its best to creat an 'unclean image' of Delhi's chief minister. Though Rajesh Garg has been shown exit doors from the party today, before the arrival of Kejriwal in Delhi, but the damage to Kejriwal's image is already done.

In the audio tape a voice like of Kejriwal's could be heard telling Rajesh Garg that he should try to manage six Congress party MLAs to extend their support to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to form the new government in Delhi. The tape recording was claimed to be of some time before the dissolution of Delhi assembly in 2014. The audio sting, no doubt, clearly tries to establish a power hungry politician's image for Arvind Kejriwal.

Kejriwal so far has not commented anything on the audio sting. Though AAP leaders had tried to play down the tape recording revelations to their best soon its media debut. Senior leaders like Ashish Khetan, Sanjay Singh refuted all the charges of horse-trading against their supremo. They preferred to call it rather a political alignment.

Khetan and other AAP members may justify Kejriwal's comments in the audio tape, but what about the general perception that is building up in the people's mind that Delhi's CM is no different from an ordinary politician in this country who can go to any extent to grab the power.

We reached out to some experts who keep a close watch over the political affairs in this country and asked them their point of view about Kejriwal and his image post the audio sting conducted by former AAP member Rajesh Garg.

Dr. Pradip K. Dutta, a political science professor at Delhi University says that the audio sting(s) has cause damage to his image.

"Power hungry is off course different from a being powerful politician. Clearly, Kejriwal in popular perception is seen as somebody who is like any other politician. See, all politicians deal with power, but with popular perception Kejriwal was seen somewhat different from other politicians. He was going to clean up the system. But these audio tapes have damaged that public perception and it seems to me that Kejriwal and AAP need to take this challenge up and start thinking of institutional reforms within the AAP that can offset the tendency that all parties have towards idealising or giving too much power to a single leader. So in a way it's the structure of APP that needs to be changed. Otherwise AAP is falling prey or has the danger of falling prey to what the Congress has fallen prey to and the BJP has fallen prey to, which is the single leader model. That is the real problem, it's a structural problem which has to do with participation in politics in India. So in that sense it's not a moral issue so much as a institutional issue," said Pradip K. Dutta.

Arvind Mohan, a political analyst says, "The main problem is the differences amongst themselves. So they have to cope up with the situation. Till now they all were a single united party and they fought for the party. But now for the first time the party is caught into a big controversy. Earlier, also members of his own party has blamed him, but all those things got washed away because they were small. When Shazia and Upadhyay were saying the same thing no one believed them. The reason was all of them were small and have joined BJP, and it was said that it's a game plane of BJP. But now the people who have blamed him are not going to join BJP and had played a prominent role in AAP."

Gurpreet Mahajan, Professor at Political Science department, JNU says, "You have raised the issue of whether the actions are morally correct or justified or is it anything else. There are three things that one could say. I think the tape shows that he has actually tried to break away some sections by giving them some incentive or making some promises or giving them some allurement. If it is so, then it is a big problem and then we can certainly say that it is not a justified action. But discussions about strategy and who may or may not support, if some people will break away and go to another party, weather they will be able to support or not support, that will be a different issue altogether. Second thing is that AAP was contesting elections, they have come to form the government, that means you do want political power. How can you form government and do anything without political power. So, certainly they were looking for political power."

Mahajan added, "The third thing really is, I think we are discussing everything that is happening on day to day basis. But the big issue or big test for AAP will be in a little while from now. Because, in politics the most important issue on which a party and its moral commitment will be judged is, is it able to deliver its promises, is it working for the interest of the people and the welfare of the people or not, or they promoting their own personal self interest. I think that will be the crucial test, that will be a big test. Nothing else is a big test, because all political parties are here to win and form the government and they work out strategies what is going on is better for them or not better for them."

Pooja Paswan, an Assitant Professor and proctor at Department of Political Science, Jamia Millia Islamia said, "We need to accept the credibility of the source. The audio sting was released by their own party member, which clearly shows that there is an infight within the party over some issues difference of opinion, differnce of portfolios Another thing is we have seen Arvind Kejriwal in the public domain from the past two years, so there is a possibility that his public interface or his public image might be sober or there could be a difference. There is a possibility that he might be a completely different person within the party office or when he is handling his own party members. But, then you need to understand that being the head of the party he has to exert some authority in order to keep the party together."

Paswan added, "We are seeing that differences are emerging within the party, we know that this man is faced with a stronger resistance, so better he try to change the way he works unlike in the previous elections. He should be more assertive, stratifying different portfolios for different party members, dividing and charting our different roles etc. We can ward on a thing and say that he is a power hungry, because we haven't seen any kind of a fight. He has not tried to defend the allegation, he has not bothered to defend the allegation. Because when you are in such a domain you have allegations, there are comments from various directions, so either you can sit and try to defend every comment that is being thrown towards you or you can just focus on what you are here to do."

Arvind Kejriwal is saying confidently that he is fit and fine to rule Delhi. But the various internal rifts within his Aam Aadmi Party need to be treated as soon as possible before they cause an irreparable damage to the health of the party.

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