Home Opinion Covid has exposed Kejriwal. He is no transparent, reformist or in-control chief...

Covid has exposed Kejriwal. He is no transparent, reformist or in-control chief minister

Kejriwal's handling of Covid has taken the sheen off what he claims to stand for. He is not that transparent and able administrator.

Ruhi Tewari
A file photo of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Photo | Suraj Singh Bisht/ThePrint
A file photo of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

The exploding Covid situation in Delhi has exposed everything that is wrong with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and brought out his worst side — parochial, hypocritical, and a fumbling administrator who makes magnified claims.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Delhi is a complete mess and with his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Kejriwal has lost immense political capital, ensuring that a multitude of questions are raised over his governance abilities.

From fudging data related to coronavirus to trying to keepDelhi’s hospitals only for city residents, to wasting the lockdown period by not expanding the health infrastructure— Arvind Kejriwal has been doing everything that should not be done during a pandemic.

The Delhi CM’s handling of the current crisis has disproved a lot of what he claimed to stand for, and as a wise colleague remarked, has taken the mask off him. Kejriwal has shown he is not the transparent, open and able administrator that he has projected himself as.


Also read: Amit Shah orders CCTV in Covid wards of all designated hospitals in Delhi


What the pandemic has exposed

Riding on an anti-corruption mood, Arvind

Kejriwal was catapulted into the national political arena, after he captured people’s imagination by championing the cause of transparency. In fact, he was among the activists at the forefront of the campaign for the Right to Information (RTI) Act, and in 2006, even won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his contribution to the movement.

Fourteen years after he was awarded for his public service, Kejriwal no longer seems to be the champion for people’s right to know. The activist-politician has received much flak for his government’s ‘attempt to hide’ the real Covid data. A huge mismatch was found between the number of Covid deaths reported by the Delhi government and those by the civic authorities and Covid-designated crematoriums. Last week, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Municipal Corporation of Delhi said that 2,098 people had died of Covid-19 in the national capital between March and 10 June, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s health bulletin claimed the figure was 984.

The attempt to fudge data to underplay the fatality figures exposes how the ‘torchbearer of transparency’ has lost his way. If anything, Kejriwal has revealed himself to be a hypocritical opportunist.

At the same time, by ordering Delhi hospitals not to cater to any ‘outsider’, Kejriwal revealed he is anything but the progressive politician that Delhi’s ‘liberals’ have loved. He may have shown a rare mature side later by agreeing to go with LG Anil Baijal’s order overturning his decision, but not before exposing how insular he is, even in the middle of a pandemic when being humane is most important for a leader.

The Kejriwal government has similarly messed up on arguably the most crucial aspect in handling this pandemic — testing. It was only after Sunday’s meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah that the Delhi government decided to ramp up testing. That’s not all. The Delhi government, in an order on 2 June, had ruled out testing asymptomatic people.

The various gaps in governance that have become visible during this crisis point towards an unsure, ill-equipped and inexperienced government. Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra has displayed a similar record. But there’s one big difference — Uddhav hadn’t spent much time as chief minister when the crisis hit the state, but Kejriwal has been at the helm for long, and therefore had enough time to gain the experience required to strengthen the capabilities of the state.


Also read: Amit Shah meets BJP, Congress, AAP leaders among others to discuss Delhi’s Covid situation


Hollow claims

The pandemic has also exposed Kejriwal’s hollow claims of having developed a robust health infrastructure. The two pillars of the AAP’s governance have been education and health, with the latter now in complete shambles.

Patients in critical condition are complaining of not getting beds in hospitals. And even though the government claims everything to be in order, the Mohalla Clinics — the pride of this government — are struggling with shortage of masks, delayed salaries and crumbling infrastructure.

Was the AAP government exaggerating about having created solid healthcare infrastructure? Or has the scale of the pandemic brought out the administrative inexperience of Kejriwal’s team? Either way, it’s a huge setback for a chief minister, who fought and won his last election, riding on his governance model.

The picture does not look pretty for Arvind Kejriwal. It is a grim reminder of how optics, beautifully garnished claims and bluster can all come crashing down when a calamity strikes. Kejriwal had anyway left the aggressive, questioning street-fighter in him behind after party’s disastrous performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, but now, he also seems to have lost his governance crown, and to a virus at that.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. i see the libtards and highly educated lot getting offended and singing praises of their demi god kejri, and as usual following the cult of “sab central govt ki galti hai”. First of all, why the hell are chief ministers appointed in states?? It is done so that the central govt can run the administration in a much better and systematic manner. It is the duty of the center to cater to the problems of the nation, but it is also the duty of the chief ministers of different states to look after the needs and problems of their people to the best of their abilities and resources available. I believe during delhi elections it was the highly educated lot of delhi that placed their trust on kejri and elected him as their leader, and I don’t think the center had any intervention in that, the center did not brainwash anyone regarding the choice they ought to make to elect the cm. Kejri was the choice of the intelligent crowd and being the king of the intelligent masses he was expected to make delhi great, but desperate times like corona and shaheen bagh riots were too much of a task for mr cm to handle, and he mismanaged everything despite of the bombastic claims he made during the elections. When the situation started to worsen, and mr superman kejri’s big hollow system came crashing down, it was then that mr. Amit Shah had to deal with the situation and somehow he and his efficient officials were the ones who brought the situation under control to a great extent. So for intellectual people claiming “centre ki galti hai sab”, open your big hollow brains and see. Ek tumara delhi he nhi reh gya hai sarkar k pass dekhne k lie they have to manage the nation and also deal with morons like congress, shivsena, mamta yada yada who contribute nothing even as the opposition to the well being of the nation, and then on top of it, your cm kejri who is always under influence of hypothetical Bollywood movies like “nayak”. I know all the drama he pulled up during elections, trying to act like an aam aadmi, ye kar denge wo kar denge, it was all inspired from nayak. Sadly mr kejri couldn’t make out the difference between fiction and reality. And then like tik tok trends we have the trend of the intelligent masses called “sab modi ki bjp k RSS ke galti hai”. I’m not even a bjp supporter and neither do I love politics but being a normal human being even I can differentiate between false claims and real actions.

  2. No government or health infrastructure in the world is prepared to deal with a pandemic of this scale.
    On similar grounds can we blame the worsening situation of Covid 19 across the country on Central government?
    The need is to have a long term government health infrastructure in place to cater to the large population of the country. This has been ignored by current and previous governments so that the private hospitals, that have the backing of politicians, can mint money

  3. Kejriwal totally exposed. What happened to the famous mohalla clinic??? Kejri is at most a glorified Mayor of Delhi. Delhi govt. a glorified Minicipal Corporation.
    Even God cannot save Delhi

  4. Very bad. Shekhar ji you are misusing journalism. Kejriwal is better among other political leaders, still you oppose because you don’t like him…

  5. This is the third article on Kejriwal in the Print all highlighting more or less the same issues and with little difference in verbiage . Ok , so Kejriwal has failed , but does the Print not have communication between Ruhi ,vij and taskin , all writing on the same issue .

  6. Is the central government independent of all problems at state level? The centre should target and help states needing the most help. If the states fall so does the centre. It’s also the centre’s fall. If there wasn’t any help to the states from the centre the stats of any problem point towards both.

  7. Since Kejriwal has quietly decided to be a part of BJP camp and Uddhav or Mamata is in the opposition camp, this sort of article was expected from sickular group. Who is Kejriwal is well known since he became Chief Minister for the first time and nothing has changed since. Ruhi seemed to have discovered everything wrong with him just now.

  8. unfortunately he was never a democrat and always wanted to be an one man army. that has cost him big time.

  9. Totally biased report. This author has written all pro congress articles. The print is not an unbiased neutral news producer.so I wish they should not write anything about godi media

  10. Free service milna chaiye baba, loan maaf hona chaiye re baba, loan milna chaiye re baba, ye india hai re baba.

  11. Poohi is a full time congrass journalist who finds faults. But never seeks to accept that it was her party and the poverty ideologues that never allowed population control measures, that we see has resulted in helplessness of people. Alas the same people are still masquerading as independent minds but people are now aware of the fakery you represent.

  12. Kejriwal has expertise only in creating controversies and conspiracies. This time he has disappointed even Modi hater librandus. He is totally incompetent to manage a pandemic type situation. He can only abuse and accuse central government when he is not facing any challenge. This good for nothing CM should immediately resign.

  13. Shri Kejriwal was built up by the media. It has a lot of explaining to do to readers and viewers who trusted its judgement to report and present facts in a transparent and unbiased manner. And with journalists like the Hinduphobic Zainab Sikandar and Bilkis Taksim and castesist Dilip Mandal, it may pander to echo chambers, but does it classify as journalism?

  14. Ha ha ha…I thought I will get to read a genuine audit of AAP Govt’s performance in Corona times. Instead the article reads like the rant of a BHAKT against their favourite punching bag Kejriwal. The prose is also substandard, even 5th class school kids can do better.

  15. Yesterday’s Hindu had a similar evaluation by Varghese George. He points out the right wing shift after re-election.

    • What has right wing got to do with incompetence? Smt Mamata Banerjee is certainty not right wing, maybe more left than the Left, but is she is handling the pandemic efficiently? And what about the new poster boys of secularism, the trio in Maharashtra?

  16. Without going too far deep into the past let us begin from the 90’s when Congress ruled as a coalition government with slender majorities. Getting toppled fear was a constant and yet these governments have you liberalisation, nuclear deal and handsome economic growth. These achievements did not get trumped up but what did are the downsides like corruption which are yet to be proven. And those governments with thumping majorities in the centre of Modi, Kejriwal in Delhi and Mamata in Bengal are not only floundering but also not delivered on the tall promises made to win and come to power. When will the electorate learn is now the million dollar question?

    • After being fooled for long by Congress crooks and now social media exposing incompetent Congress, Indian voters now make informed decisions. Any amount of lies and conspiracies by Congress get immediately bounced back due to 24×7 social media. Congress so far has used social media for negative propaganda and voters now know Congress’s anti Hindu ideology.

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