As expected, Arvind Kejriwal stepped down as the chief minister of Delhi on Friday protesting the decision by the Congress Party and BJP to block the Jan Lokpal bill from being introduced in the Delhi Assembly.
Some have called it a master strategy, others call it premature and a poor move.
Kejriwal said the two main political parties in India came together against the Aam Aadmi Party after his government decided to go after India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.
The benefits to the Aam Aadmi Party, if not to Delhi, from the decision to resign are obvious. The most important one is that it frees up leadership bandwidth and allows Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia to focus on building up the party across India as the general elections near.
Several state units are clamouring for the party to fight elections from many, if not all, the seats under their jurisdiction. However, wary of repeating episodes like that involving Vinod Kumar Binny, who was elected on AAP’s ticket, but whose actions have been against the party leadership, Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yogendra Yadav are learnt to be wary of fielding too many candidates in the elections and sullying the party’s reputation later on.
On the negative side, Delhiites will be disappointed about the quick death of a government that many of them looked forward to. The AAP became the second biggest party in the Delhi Assembly as a groundswell of support lifted it beyond even the wildest expectations of political pundits. The decision to quit halfway will also give ammunition to the AAP’s rivals to brand the party as ‘irresponsible’.