Is Kejriwal’s national ambition fuelling his showdown with LG

After confrontation over Excise Policy, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal has levelled fresh charges against Delhi Lt Governor V.K. Saxena accusing him of deliberately stalling popular schemes of the state  government in health and  education departments, writes Pawan Kumar Bansal

Come Lok Sabha elections , Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister, is at his favourite pastime  – political theatrics. The scene in the state has shifted from confrontation over Excise Policy and fresh bouts of allegations against Delhi  Lt Governor V.K. Saxena regarding  stalling of the popular schemes of the State  Government in health and  education departments. Another attempt was made through a sting operation by the DCW Chief, Swati Maliwal,  to show how women are feeling unsafe  in the national capital. It is no secret  that Kejriwal is all set to cross swords with the  Union Government  led by Narender Modi to gain an edge  in view of the next year’s  Lok Sabha polls.

“Officers heading health and social welfare departments are scuttling my government’s schemes aimed at welfare of the poor and downtrodden at the instance of Lt Governor of Delhi, V.K.Saxena .” Unsparing in his verbal spats, he tried to put the Modi  Government on the mat by roaring, ” If Sawati Maliwal , Chairperson of Delhi Commission of women can be molested and dragged for fifteen  meters on roads of national capital, then nobody is safe here and Union government headed by Narendar  Modi  is responsible for this as law and order here is under direct control of Union home ministry.”

While these and the other salvos of Kejriwal, who is the boss of the Aam Aadmi Party are considered to be another of his attempts  to project himself as a “messiah” of poor and downtrodden, the bonus is portraying Saxena as a “villain” and someone who is acting at the instance of Amit Shah. Kejriwal is  using every word available in the dictionary to malign Lt Governor Saxena describing him as “stooge”  of centre.
 The BJP has reacted to Kejriwal’s outburst calling it a “pure gimmick” for earning cheap publicity and has even claimed  that the man who had reportedly molested Sawati Maliwal was an AAP  worker.
The list of Delhi Government’s confrontation with the L.G is endless. In the recent past, it was the Excise Policy and the money spent by it on advertisements, highlighting achievements of his government in various newspapers, and sending teachers abroad. Without mincing words, Kejriwal uses every opportunity to allege that Lt Governor Saxena is not allowing his democratically elected government to work  smoothly.

Political pundits think that  Kejriwal is preparing for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Prior to the General Elections,  the AAP  had to face yet another by-election of Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat in Punjab due to the death of the sitting Congress MP, Santokh Singh Choudhary during the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ of Rahul Gandhi. It is only in the recent past that AAP lost the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, vacated by the Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann to Simaranjit Singh Mann. Besides , Kejriwal is aiming at spreading its wings in other states  like Haryana, Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka, struggling  to increase his party’s vote share.
It is no surprise that on the political landscape , when the Opposition seems to be lacking  cohesion, clarity, calibre and vision, ,Kejriwal  is projecting himself as a firebrand leader who has the guts to challenge Modi. He is also eyeing a possible place for a  consensus candidate of the anti-BJP front  during the  Lok Sabha polls.

Till sometime back, the West Bengal CM,Mamta Bannerji was being projected as a consensus candidate of anti-BJP parties’ but now it looks as if she has shifted her stance and adopted a “soft attitude” towards Modi.

Now, with the kind of response which  Rahul Gandhi is getting through his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and the lavish praise on him by the  Jammu and Kashmir ex-CM Farooq Abdullah, he is thought to be emerging as prospective leader of the proposed anti- BJP front which is yet to take any concrete  shape. But Kejriwal might still be hopeful.

Kejriwal and his party’s government  in Punjab are utilising the state’s s resources to boost their  image by releasing advertisements in various newspapers highlighting their achievements and projecting themselves  as role models of governance for the country. The Delhi Government has already drawn  flak from Saxena for releasing  advertisements worth millions in various newspapers. Now his Punjab counterpart, Bhagwant Mann has embroiled himself into a controversy by unceremoniously shifting the Health Secretary, Ajoy  Sharma who had objected to spending three times more money than the sanctioned money for  “Mohalla Clinics” in newspapers  outside  Punjab.