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HomePoliticsKejriwal’s new-found love: former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh

Kejriwal’s new-found love: former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh

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In the past three and half years since he has been Delhi CM, Kejriwal never wished Singh on his birthday. In 2012, he called Singh a ‘corrupt leader’.

New Delhi: Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal has, of late, come to discover many virtues in Dr Manmohan Singh, the former prime minister whom he slammed for not ordering inquiries against “his corrupt ministers” in 2012.

On 25 September when Dr Singh turned 86, Kejriwal greeted him in a tweet: “I wish a very happy 86th birthday to Dr Manmohan Singh, our former Prime Minister. A man of integrity, sobriety and humble nature. I pray for his long & healthy life.”

A few months back, in May, he had tweeted that people were “now missing an educated PM like Dr Manmohan Singh”. “It’s dawning on people now. PM to padha likha hi hona chahiye (PM should be educated),” he said, in an apparent dig at Singh’s successor, Narendra Modi, whose educational qualification has virtually been made a matter of public debate by opposition parties.

Also read: Now AAP reaches out to Punjab MP it suspended in 2015, he rebuffs reconciliation attempt

So, what’s behind this change of heart in Kejriwal? He may not have apologised to Singh for all his allegations in the past — as he did in case of many other politicians — but his effusive praise for the former prime minister has made people sit up in amazement.

In the past three and half years since he has been the chief minister of Delhi, Kejriwal never wished Singh on his birthday.  Not only this, in this year’s wish, he called Singh “a man of integrity”.  It is unusual since there have been numerous instances in the past when he called Singh a corrupt leader.

In June 2012, while on a visit to Gujarat, he called Singh, then PM, a corrupt leader as he was “not ready to order an enquiry against their corrupt ministers”.

In a public rally in Rewari in July 2012, he again levelled corruption charges against Singh. He had said, “While 15 of the 34 union ministers are deeply involved in corruption, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too is not completely untainted.”

He again mocked Singh in October 2013 by tweeting, “A corrupt Congress made Manmohan Singh its face at Centre. Manmohan failed to check corruption within congress and his own Govt.”

In February 2015, when the BJP declared Kiran Bedi its chief ministerial candidate in Delhi, Kejriwal mocked her, by calling her Dr Manmohan Singh of the BJP.

It is not unusual for Kejriwal to show a change of heart based on his political expediency. In January 2014, in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, he came up with a list of corrupt politicians. Eventually he apologised to most of them in writing.

Also read: During 1984 riots, even Manmohan Singh’s family home was about to be burnt down

As it is, the Delhi chief minister is desperate to mend fences with the Congress, the party he had played a role in unseating from power. With the AAP’s national ambitions having taken a big hit following a series of electoral reverses, he now wants to play a national role by being part of an anti-BJP grouping.

But the Congress’ wounds haven’t healed yet. As it is, the Congress seems willing to sacrifice the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi — by splitting the anti-BJP votes — but wouldn’t shake hands with Kejriwal. That explains why the chief minister has started finding virtues in the former prime minister.

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  1. Mr Rajgopal Singh,
    As a citizen of India, I feel amazed at the negative impact you reporters put into the Indian democratic system. A political leader represents the party he leads, the people who support his policies. So he definitely change as per political expediency. Why should this be a negative thing? Why should it become a news article? Just to serve as an item for mocking which lots of Indian citizens do? This is not reporting sir! You all should realize that the objective of media (and also of the other arms of democratic system like executive, judiciary, etc.) is to improve the democratic system so that India moves forward.

  2. It’s good news if Arvind Kejriwal has decided to mend fences with the Congress. The latter too should show a big heart and let the bygones be bygones. The very recent Delhi University elections have shown that if the student bodies of the two parties were united, the results would have been A CLEAN SWEEP for them. Take a brief look at the DU lesson:

    AISA, the left aligned students union, CYSS affiliated to AAP, together got more than 8000 votes for each post, and for no post was the winning margin of the ABVP more than this figure. So, if the three non-ABVP groups were together, meaning the above two and NSUI, affiliated to the Congress, all the 4 posts of DU Students Union would have gone to them! ABVP wouldn’t have got even a single post!

    They same logic would apply for the larger scene — the 3 states, and 2019 lok sabha elections. Seniors should learn from our college friends.

  3. The Congress does not have the luxury of choice. 2019 is not in the bag. Ms Mayawati has crossed over, which opens up the game in Uttar Pradesh in a manner that could not have been imagined till very recently. The other important state is Maharashtra, where the man who sends “ mixed signals “ is at work. The government in Karnataka hangs by a slender thread. Not as simple a prospect as an apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head.

    • Ashok, the situation is not as fragile as it may seem, and as you point out. It is very solid anti-BJP already. The Congress leadership should tell themselves aloud: “no matter what happens, no one can take away our status of a national and the oldest party”. The moment these words sink into their collective thinking, they will realize there is no need for bargaining! They will then decide to play a Jaiprakash Narain and not a Morarji or Charan Singh or a Jagjiwan Ram.

      In short, the Congress should feel SECURE in the grand status it ALREADY has and which no Mayawati or Ajit Jogi can take away. In short, they should decide to play the role of a FACILITATOR; a king maker, and not necessarily a king. (Even if it comes to being the king, for God sake, they should project the name of Anand Sharma or P. Chidambaram, and not of RG. And certainly not that of the paradoxically intelligent zombie, Dr. MMS).

      Who will be so ungrateful as to forget the Congress’ pivotal role if in this manner the most dangerous avatar ever of the BJP is defeated?

      (In stead of sulking about the Mayawati Ajit Jogi gathbandhan, the Congress should celebrate it. This is curtains for the BJP in Chattisgarh, just watch).

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