The Aam Aadmi Party seems to be witnessing its worst phase since the inception of the party in 2012. Close on the heels of the party’s electoral debacles in the recent Assembly and municipal polls, its own MLA Kapil Mishra has raised serious corruption allegations against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Mishra, who was sacked from his post as theWater Resources Minister on Saturday, claims that he witnessed Kejriwal accepting a sum of 2 crore rupees from Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendra Jain. He has now gone ahead and presented evidence to the Anti-Corruption Bureau which will probe the charges. Incidentally, the ACB is chaired by Mukesh Kumar Meena who was previously accused of corruption by Kejriwal.Both Kejriwal and Jain remain silent on the charges. Other party leaders, however, have come forward to refute Mishra’s story. Predictably, AAP’s retort is that Mishra is plotting vendetta against Kejriwal following the former’s ouster from the Cabinet. Regardless of whether the charges are proven to be true, this comes up at a time when the party’s image is at an all-time low. The new developments will dent the anti-corruption plank that was the foundation of the party.Sections of the media have lapped up Mishra’s version of the story, caring little to check whether the charges are verified. While it is not for the first time that scams have been exposed on Indian television, in this instance, the media has taken charge of this story with particular relish, given the fact that the person in question had once billed himself as a messiah against corruption.
Ideally, the person making the allegations would be questioned regarding the basis of the accusations. What happened instead was cosy exclusive interviews of Mishra who waxed eloquent about the incident as the anchor nodded vigorously. A channel billed the corruption charge as “scam fest season”. It would be interesting to see what the channel would term the corruption-ridden UPA regime.
Regardless of whether one agrees with Kejriwal’s brand of politics, he is among the few prominent political leaders who have been fiercely questioning the powers that be at the Centre, a factor doesn’t sit well with status quo. At a time when the Prime Minister is the apple of many a camera eye, Kejriwal is paying the price for swimming against a very popular wave.