Delhi

‘Kejriwal talks like a politician now, hardly discusses corruption issue’

From less talk on fight against corruption to becoming a more mature, practical, and seasoned politician, people at AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal’s first roadshow during this election season said that the leader has definitely changed since the Anna Hazare movement in 2011.

As Mr. Kejriwal was over an hour late to the roadshow, 39-year-old Aneesh Khan stood outside a shop in Lal Bagh. Mr. Khan said that he had gone from house to house to campaign for the Aam Aadmi Party when it fought the election in Delhi for the first time.

“He [Kejriwal] has changed a lot now. Earlier, he used to talk like an ‘aam aadmi’, but now he talks like he is from a political party, like other leaders do,” he said. Mr. Khan said that he has been following Mr. Kejriwal since the time he was with Anna Hazare and even voted for AAP during the last Assembly polls. “Now the corruption issue is completely over and he does not talk about it anymore,” he added.

‘Focus has changed’

All the people The Hindu talked to agreed on this point. Even AAP’s election manifesto for Delhi focussed on “full statehood”.

Corruption found a small mention among a dozen other issues in the manifesto.

Even in speeches Mr. Kejriwal gave in Lal Bagh and Wazirpur JJ cluster on Wednesday, corruption was hardly discussed.

As Mr. Kejriwal’s cavalcade left Lal Bagh, C.P. Sahani and Omkar Mathur were standing along the road. Both said that the AAP chief talks less about the Jan Lokpal Bill, which was a major demand while Mr. Kejriwal was with Mr. Hazare.

“Earlier he did not know politics, he was like a common man. But now, after being among politicians, he has also learned [how to be a politician],” said Mathur, an autorickshaw driver. “His anger has also decreased,” Mr. Sahani said. But both of them said that they will vote for the party.

‘More practical’

Harsh Mahajan, 55, said: “Earlier, he was very idealistic and used to say that he can do everything. But now he has become practical and says that many things are beyond his control.” The businessman, who supports the BJP, said that Mr. Kejriwal has moved away from “hum (we)” to “mein (I)” and that was the reason for many people leaving the party.

As the roadshow left Sangam Park, 39-year-old Shyam Lal said that he does not know the local candidate, but he would vote for Mr. Kejriwal. “Earlier he used to fight a lot, but now he knows that he has to compromise a little as he is in politics,” Mr. Lal said.

At L block in JJ cluster, Wazirpur, Mr. Kejriwal had just finished giving a speech outside Suresh Chindeliya’s gym. “In the last one year, he has not gotten into many controversies. He has become more matured and his agitation has also decreased,” he said, adding that the speeches have also become better.

Mr. Chindeliya, who said he had voted for AAP in the last Assembly election, said that Mr. Kejriwal had moved away from his primary issue of fighting against corruption.

Mr. Kejriwal had taken part in Mr. Hazare’s anti-corruption movement in 2011. Subsequently, he parted ways with Mr. Hazare and launched AAP.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 9:00:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/kejriwal-talks-like-a-politician-now-hardly-discusses-corruption-issue/article27006333.ece

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