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Why Arvind Kejriwal must prove his loyalty to India

The shocking charges made by a former close friend of Arvind Kejriwal regarding his desperation to become the Chief Minister of a full- fledged state, Punjab, even at the cost of aligning with anti- national forces, are too serious to be ignored (Image courtesy: Twitter/@ArvindKejriwal)

Punjab is going to vote tomorrow but the political landscape is tainted with a devastating narrative. Punjab, being a border state, and having faced the worst kind of militancy for nearly two decades, needed a potent syncretic principled political ideology.

Instead, the greed to grab power at any cost has led a so-called “honest”  political personality to court separatists, if disclosure made by the one- time close confidant of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are to be believed.

The shocking charges made by a former close friend of Kejriwal regarding his desperation to become the Chief Minister of a full- fledged state, Punjab, even at the cost of aligning with anti- national forces, are too serious to be ignored. 

The prodigious efforts of Kejriwal and his party men to brush aside these serious charges as political gimmickry, on the eve of elections, is not going to cut any ice with the public. The Delhi CM cannot get away by saying that he cannot be dubbed a terrorist just because he is building hospitals and schools.

These feeble excuses will not help him this time. His partymen are trying to portray this episode as a war between the honest and corrupt elements as if Mr. Kejriwal is running the government honestly! The functioning of the Kejriwal government over the past several years is testimony to the fact that corruption has not diminished under his rule. Instead, it has been constantly moving northward.

The recent decision of the Kejriwal government to tweak the Delhi government’s excise policy and permit the opening of nearly a thousand additional new liquor shops has forced people to come on the streets to oppose this move and make serious allegations of corruption against the Delhi government.

The public has been vociferously protesting against the opening of these additional liquor shops across the state and approached every authority but to no avail. The media reports from time to time as well as stories from the corridors of power have been pointing towards a huge deal struck with the liquor lobby by the government in this regard. Hence, despite public agitation continuing for months, it is believed that this decision is not going to be reversed. Whither honest governance by honest politicians?

Elections are intrinsic to the democratic process. However, electioneering cannot allow aligning of political leaders with those with an anti-national agenda. The brazenly garnering of such political support cannot be condoned. The allegations made by Kejriwal’s erstwhile colleague are too serious to be ignored. 

No one should be allowed to be so immoral as to fulfil his personal ambitions at the cost of national interest . Elections will be over in about twenty days and democracy will triumph. However, in canvassing for votes, the endeavour of Kejriwal to win by desperately seeking even the support of anti-nationals – this alarming issue raised by Kumar Vishwas, the poet, needs to be investigated urgently.

It has become the culture in our country that everything is fair in politics and every kind of “hathkanda” (manoeuvring) is permitted to grab power. This unprincipled culture has led to a situation where capturing power is the only priority and a leader has allegedly gone to the extent of even aligning with separatists!

He even had no qualms in spending the night in a person’s house who was a proclaimed supporter of separatists. This kind of unethical behaviour has to be dealt with as sternly as possible- no matter what his stature in public life.

The nation has to wake-up from its stupor, proclaim “enough is enough” and act sternly and punish the offender, if found guilty. Those in power have a greater responsibility to do the Right thing and act with integrity and cannot be allowed to act immorally to fulfill their selfish ambitions. Our country’s integrity and sovereignty is paramount and anybody compromising with it must be punished.

A time comes in a nation's life when decisions have to be made and the lines have to be drawn- this far and no further. We as a country need to take this call now. Our nonadherence to principles in public life has already caused innumerable damage to our polity and created insurmountable misery for our people who are struggling day and night to fulfill their basic needs.

We have become a byword for immorality and are now being reduced to hearing lessons on running an ethical democracy from the Prime Minister of a tiny country like Singapore who in his speech recently deplored the entry of criminals in large numbers in our Parliament. We do not like others to point out our flaws. However, he was right in pointing out that by ignoring the grossly deviant behavior of those in high positions, the nation will inevitably go downhill and the slide will be unstoppable.

There is an opportunity before us, as a nation, to show our resolve by ordering a full-fledged independent enquiry into the allegations made against Kejriwal. Let the truth come out in the open whether he is guilty or not. This will send a clear message to all  that nobody is above the law and  the  country’s sovereignty is sacrosanct .

(Vijay Shankar Pandey retired from the Indian Administrative Service. He has an established record of raising his voice against corruption in public life. Views expressed are exclusive to India Narrative and are personal)

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