One of the colleagues in the cabinet, Law Minister Bharti has come under fire from all directions for taking law into his own hands, violating the procedures laid down in the Criminal Procedure Code and using intemperate language bordering uncivilized behavior, Chief Minister Kejariwal jumped into the fray by lending his colleague unflinching support. Both have fallen from grace and gone down many notches in the estimate of the public opinion comprising literati, glitterati and pavement dwellers.
Public Protest Before Rail Bhawan
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wanted to launch a mass protest by sitting in front of the Union Home Minister’s office before the North Block but was prevented by the Delhi Police. So they sat in protest in front of the nearby Rail Bhawan that houses the ministry and other offices of the Indian Railways. They were there for two days and one night before Arvind Kejriwal buckled under pressure of public opinion, inclement weather, strong attitude of the central government and apparently lukewarm support of the common man.
The Aam Aadmi was not inclined to join the agitating chief minister of Delhi as he had his own personal problems to solve. In the common man’s perception Kejriwal had crossed the line of civility, propriety and law by supporting the law minister of Delhi who had infringed the law by his high handed approach in dealing with some Nigerian women whom he suspected of drug peddling and indulging in flesh trade. The leaders of the AAP committed one mistake after the other and thus lost the support of the Press, both print and electronic.
Kejriwal who had demanded suspension of five police officers for dereliction of duty in rape, murder and prostitution cases could not press the point or argue his case to the hilt in view of the firm attitude of the Union Home Minister. The Central government that controls the Delhi Police refused to suspend even a single police officer and just ordered an enquiry as an eye wash.
Lt Governor of Delhi is credited with hammering out a solution by asking two Station House Officers to go on leave which they had already applied for before the agitation began. Thus the Union Home Minister and the Lt Governor just offered a ;lollypop to the crying Kejariwal that the latter grabbed as a way out of the jigsaw puzzle that he had got himself in.
The crest fallen Kejriwal called it as a great victory of his but the Media termed it as “Beating Retreat before the Republic Day”. Kejriwal had bitten more than he could chew. The dwindling public support; people’s leaving the venue of protest despite entreaties of AAP leaders, incessant rain, scathing criticism by media commentators and unflinching attitude of the Home Minister spelt disaster for the mass protest and demand of suspension of five police officers.
Kejriwal saw the writing on the wall. Time and people were not on his side. It was a great fall for Kejriwal. He started the agitation with a bang but it ended with a whimper. Kejriwal’s public support is sliding down and it forebodes his meteoric fall.
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