On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government’s demonetisation policy. Several political parties and leaders fiercely opposed the move and lambasted the government for taking such a step. Among those who opposed the decision was none other than Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
No surprises there.
Kejriwal’s disagreements with the Prime Minister have been the talk of the town even before the time he took over as the Chief Minister of the national capital. From challenging him to a duel to alleging that Modi is making efforts to get him killed, he has said it all. He has in fact become an adjective in debates on Modi – Stop being a Kejriwal, people can be heard saying often.
Not just the CM, every individual, has the right to criticise the Prime Minister. But with power comes responsibility. When a CM is raising a question, the criticism need to be valid. Sitting on the all important chair of the CM, how fair is it for his supporters when he puts some half-baked information out, even in a tweet.
As a Quora user puts it, “AK, and AAP are like those acetate sheets that got glued to the surface of an Overhead Projector, or like that power point slide that got stuck during a presentation. They are constantly on Projection mode; projecting themselves against Modi and BJP. Not by doing any substantial work, but by hurling accusations at them Left, Right, and Center.”
Picture the demonetisation row. Several leaders have opposed the move. And it’s valid. Rallies and protests have been organised and people have criticised how the common man is being inconvenienced with the move.
Kejriwal too has been an active participant in the protests. He organised a rally at the Azadpur Mandi where he was joined by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Congress also organised protests where other leaders from other political parties joined hands. Rightly so.
While some questions raised by Kejriwal have been valid, his Twitter timeline gives us a different impression all together. Each and every tweet is against the government and against Modi. Even the jokes. Is he not making a mockery of himself by asking questions like how will we pay ‘for joota churai’ amid the demonetisation chaos?
Kejriwal tweets fake photo of a suicide: In a major faux pas, the Delhi CM retweeted a photograph of a man who had ended his life by committing suicide in a bank in Satna in Madhya Pradesh. The tweet said that the man hung himself as he had not been able to withdraw new currency notes from the bank for four days in a row. Without verifying, Kejriwal retweeted it. That too with a caption, “Modi, Have mercy on the people of the country”. The fact was that the man who killed himself was a thief who hanged himself after realising that police surrounded him at the bank and any attempt to escape would prove futile.
Kejriwal attacking Modi for Paytm: A day after Modi announced demonetisation, several newspapers had a full page of Paytm where consumers were being asked to use the cashless service for transactions. The full page ad had the picture of Modi. Sensing a conspiracy in the same, Kejriwal said it was “utterly shameful” that the Prime Minister’s photo was being used by a private online payment firm PayTM. “Paytm biggest beneficiary of PM’s (Modi’s) announcement (demonetization of big currency). Next day PM appears in its ads. What’s the deal, Mr PM?” Kejriwal asked. He even went on to question that if these companies do wrongdoings, who will act against them?
Paytm biggest beneficiary of PM's announcement. Next day PM appears in its ads. Whats the deal, Mr PM? https://t.co/lfP0PrQICQ
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 10, 2016
Some Twitter users answered as well:
Ambani's Reliance Jio biggest beneficiary of Kejriwal not giving free Wi-Fi to Delhi. What's the deal, Mr. CM?https://t.co/MMNkG2ZUyi
— चार लोग (@WoCharLog) November 10, 2016
In the past too, he has levelled some allegations against Modi which instead of bringing the PM in the dock, raised aspersions against the CM himself.
Kejriwal tweets a picture, asks if it’s an ad: Posting a photo of the PM sitting on an e-rickshaw, Kejriwal asked on Twitter, “Is this an ad for OLA and Reliance?”.
Is this an ad for OLA and Reliance? pic.twitter.com/UbZMxF6PDM
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 2, 2016
Again, Twitter gave some fitting replies. Use this for example:
— टंकीBaba (@rkgeemail) May 2, 2016
Modi trying to spy in Kejriwal’s office: Reacting to the raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation on his principal secretary’s office and home, Kejriwal launched a scathing attack saying Modi was trying to look into the files in his office. He even went to the extent of calling Modi a ‘coward’ and a ‘psycopath’. “When Modi cudn’t handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice,” he had tweeted.
And the ultimate!
Modi wants to get Kejriwal killed: The Aam Aadmi Party chief took his ‘imagination’ to an-time high when he dramatically claimed that the BJP and the Prime Minister will do anything to stop the AAP fom performing their duties. “They may kill us. They may even kill me,” Kejriwal said in a video on the party’s YouTube channel. Terming the disagreements with the Modi government as a critical time, he told his supporters that “the face-off is set to get dirtier in the time to come. They can go to any extent,” even asking his party members to take their families into confidence.
Modi's Sharpshooter trying to shoot kejriwal. pic.twitter.com/CS3NwCqWUT
— डि.के. (@itsdhruvism) July 27, 2016
— Mօɖɨʄɨɛɖ Rɛռʊ (@renu_18) July 27, 2016
Criticism is extremely essential in a democracy. But both Kejriwal and Modi are elected representatives, if nothing else at least we expect them to maintan some basic level of decorum while levelling allegations against each other. We want you both to raise issues and even contradict each other. But can we have some serious and responsible discussions please.