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Updated: April 16, 2014 11:32 IST

‘It was a well-planned strategy’

Mohammad Ali
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Arvind Kejriwal.
PTI Arvind Kejriwal.

Kejriwal’s admission was a ploy to prepare for Delhi polls, say insiders

Former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had taken everybody by surprise when he admitted that the Aam Aadmi Party government should not have resigned in a “hurry”. By resigning on the same day the Delhi Lokpal Bill -- its main election plank -- could not be presented in the Assembly, the party lost support of a section of people, the AAP leader had admitted last week, surprising everyone, including leaders of his own party.

However, going by what the party insiders have to say, Mr. Kejriwal’s frank admission was a well thought-out AAP strategy to prepare for the Delhi Assembly elections, now that the party is finished with the Lok Sabha polls in the Capital.

By expressing regret about the party’s decision to exit the 49-day-old Delhi Government without taking the people in confidence, the AAP has actually sought to send a political message across that a “mistake” was committed under charged political circumstances, but given a “second chance” it would not repeat the same mistake, said an AAP leader who is a member of its Executive Council.

“The party first hopes to pacify the angry middle class and, second, it also aims to send a larger message across the political spectrum that we also say sorry if we commit a mistake,” he said.

With the aim to create political pressure on other political contenders in Delhi, the AAP had strategically kept the issue of Delhi elections alive since the government decided not to hold the polls. It had demanded that the top BJP and Congress leaders make their stand clear on the question of why elections are not being held in Delhi.

“Besides, not many people realised that Mr. Kejriwal’s complete focus during all the election rallies and public meetings remained on explaining why he resigned,” the AAP leader said.

The AAP sources said that by combining a very aggressive style of political campaigning along with expressing regret, the party seeks to evolve a strategy which ensures that it would not lose political space to the other political contender in its home turf. The AAP also expects to exploit people’s reaction to the increased water and power rates now that the subsidy has been withdrawn.

The party is also waiting for the reply of the Congress and the BJP in the Supreme Court, where it challenged the Union Government’s decision to allow the Delhi Assembly to remain in suspended animation instead of conducting fresh polls as no party was in the position to form a government.

The AAP spokesperson Prof. Anand Kumar said: “Once the Congress and the BJP file their replies on the issue, we will inform the Delhi electorate about the nexus between the two parties.”

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