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03 Feb 2023, Edition - 2761, Friday

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India News

Delhi Metro price hike: Has bypoll win pushed Kejriwal back to confrontation mode?



Kejriwal is against hike in fare of Delhi Metro from Tuesday. He is offered to take over Delhi Metro and run it without increasing the fare.

After maintaining a low profile for a while, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is back to what he is generally known for – to be in confrontation mode.
Kejriwal is against hike in fare of Delhi Metro from Tuesday. He is offered to take over Delhi Metro and run it without increasing the fare.

After AAP received a series of setbacks – defeat in Punjab and Goa Assembly elections, Rajouri Garden bypoll, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls, backing out from EVM challenge, internal feud, ED and CBI raids, pending defamation and office of profit cases – the Delhi chief minister started lying low.

Kejriwal chose not to comment or take active participation in the presidential and vice presidential elections, implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel.
It was in sharp contrast to Kejriwal’s earlier approach when he would take direct confrontation with Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh or the then Delhi Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung.

Instead, Kejriwal started focusing on development activities, particularly education, health, water and electricity, in Delhi. He met the residents, listened to their grievances and addressed them, or at least promised to do so.

This strategy paid dividends to Kejriwal. AAP won the Bawana Assembly by-elections held in August by an impressive margin.

However, the Bawana bypoll victory seems to have turned the wheel again for Kejriwal and the AAP. They are back in confrontation mode.

Days after this win in a bypoll, AAP MLAs launched an offensive against L-G Anil Baijal. More than 40 of them sat in front of his residence for about seven hours demanding clearance of files relating to mohalla clinics.
While Kejriwal had confined himself to Delhi after the series of electoral drubbings, he has ventured out once again – this time to Gujarat for the forthcoming Assembly elections. Perhaps, he has forgotten the lesson which he had learnt after the drubbings in the Punjab and Goa elections.
In remarks which may be termed as arrogance, Kejriwal said in Delhi Assembly on October 4 that he was the master of Delhi and not the Delhi L-G.

Hitting out at Baijal over a Bill to regularise guest teachers, he said, “I am an elected chief minister, not a terrorist… Hum Delhi ke maalik hai (we are Delhi’s masters), not the bureaucracy.”

This may remind one of Kejriwal’s attack on Modi when he called the latter “psychopath and coward”. Kejriwal and AAP have come a full circle. Will it require another round of setbacks for them to return to serving Delhi in a low profile manner?

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