Analysis | On the fallout of the arrest of Kejriwal on INDIA bloc

While the show of solidarity is expected to further cement the ties of INDIA bloc partner, it has also given them a common cause to rally against the ruling party. 

March 22, 2024 12:47 am | Updated 08:03 am IST

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during an INDIA alliance meeting, in New Delhi. File.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during an INDIA alliance meeting, in New Delhi. File. | Photo Credit: ANI

One of the most immediate fallout of the arrest of Convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been the closing ranks by Opposition leaders of the INDIA bloc.

From Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Nationalist Congress President Sharad Pawar, Rashtriya Janata Dal patriarch Lalu Pradad Yadav to CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, senior political leaders jumped in to defend the bureaucrat-turned-politician, whose rise in politics a little over a decade ago was at the cost of many of these established players. 

Also read | Arvind Kejriwal arrest LIVE updates

In politics, time is of the essence and the Opposition parties would use the arrest to further their allegation that central agencies are being forced to settle political scores in election season.  

“Ahead of #Elections2024, driven by fear of a decade of failures and the imminent defeat, the Fascist BJP Govt sinks to despicable depths by arresting Hon’ble Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal, following the unjust targeting of brother @HemantSorenJMM,” DMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said in a post on X.

Mr. Stalin added,“Not a single BJP leader faces scrutiny or arrest, laying bare their abuse of power and the decay of democracy. The relentless persecution of opposition leaders by the BJP Govt smacks of a desperate witch-hunt”.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who too had faced several rounds of questioning by the ED in an alleged money laundering case involving the National Herald newspaper, has also spoken up for the AAP convener.

While the show of solidarity is expected to further cement the ties of INDIA bloc partner, it has also given them a common cause to rally against the ruling party. 

In the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, the Opposition parties will be looking to build on the momentum and hold joint protests that could mobilise and enthuse the party workers and cadres against the BJP that has looked so far looked invincible in north India and the Hindi heartland States.

But beyond the immediate electoral calculation, established political parties could also have some long term calculation to shape the youngest national party in a more traditional mould.

Not too long ago, the established political parties including the Congress had been at the receiving end of AAP’s anti-corruption movement as it (AAP) tried to expand its political footprints on the back of its promise of providing clean governance with a sharp focus on issues such quality education, affordable healthcare and addressing the concerns of the common man.

However, with many of its top leaders behind bars on charges of corruption, AAP’s attempt to project itself as a party with a difference has suffered a setback. 

And such a development may not be entirely bad news for the other parties in the Opposition bloc, even as it seeks to jointly take on the BJP. 

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