Public Backlash Forces New Delhi Chief into Embarrassing Protest Climbdown

Arvind Kejriwal ends his much-criticized sit-in outside the Indian Parliament to demand police reform after criticism from voters and media

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Tsering Topgyal / AP

A supporter flashes a victory sign as New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, center, announces calling off a demonstration against the police in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.

New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called off his ten-day street protest on Tuesday evening after an appeal from Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, the central government’s representative in the Indian capital.

Kejriwal, the head of the Aam Aadmi Part (AAP), had been leading an unprecedented and much criticized sit-in near the Indian Parliament since Monday. He was demanding the suspension of three police officials who had run-ins with his ministers. The government agreed to partially meet his demands and dispatched two of the officers on leave.

The face-saving deal, many say, was the perfect escape for Kejriwal, whose eccentric actions had not gone down well with ordinary people in the sprawling Indian capital.

His two-day demonstration had snarled traffic in the city, forced the shutdown of major metro stations and would have disrupted India’s grand Republic Day parade on Sunday, adversely affecting his standing among the Indian middle classes.

The sit-in, which trended on social media with #AAPdrama, included Kejriwal sleeping on the pavement on Monday night. But even then only some 1,000 people gathered at his protest site.

Likely surprised by the hostile reaction, Kejriwal gladly called off the protest despite the central government rejecting his greater demand for police reform. He originally wanted control of New Delhi Police, which presently answers to the federal home ministry, to be transferred to the state government.

India’s vibrant media was similarly scathing. The Times of India noted that the absence of middle class supporters and women, “was already indicating that the AAP support base was shrinking.”

“It’s been a depressing, frenetic slide downhill as Arvind Kejriwal has morphed from, arguably, India’s #1 role model to India’s #1 Known Delinquent,” writes Anant Rangaswami in an opinion piece for the First Post.

2 comments
goyal.sharad
goyal.sharad

In my survey all people supported the move.

goyal.sharad
goyal.sharad

This is something which is not right.  I am very much disappointment with a one sided  view published in this article.  I thought the media is doing trial by going through the opinion of chetan bahagt, kiran bedi but not as aam aadmi including time magazine.  I can accept ibn7, india-today indian channels are already sold but not time magazine which I thought is independent and take all side of the story before publishing an article. The congress, bjp says that AAP should go with a routine channel but how many times you will go with that channel when court, complaints are overloaded with the work. The Indian  system and constitutions are great but the problem is there is no accountability of the government servants. 


The reason that this is not right because I feel the same way as you said in the article. After that I decided to do a telephonic survey with my friends, family members,  ex colleagus, uncle (head of directorate of education etc). This is what they said


- The corruption is at a minmimal stage in RTO no middle men are there to support and get the things by paying money.

- The DOE (Directore of Education) corrupted staff is very depressed and running away.

- Nursery and private school nexus is almost dead

- All schools sanitary deficiencies has been identified.

- The truck drivers who come from Haryana no longer require to give money to lawmakers. 


I know my survey might not be credible one but fortunately since my father was a teacher I know it has some credibility. 


http://hillpost.in/2014/01/kejriwals-delhi-dharna-this-is-not-anarchy-mr-home-minister-this-is-revolution/97741/ 


Lets for the sake even I am wrong but next time I suggest before publishing an articile do a survey with cobbler, little uneducated voter who does not have access to ACP, SP, PM, does not know constitution, blah-2 and then make your opinion not based on some high class profile twitters or indian media.