Is the Congress repeating a fatal mistake by backing Kejriwal?

Niraj Sharma
New Update
Arvind Kejriwal worried

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (File image)

New Delhi: The arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, over allegations of corruption by the Enforcement Directorate, may be the God-sent opportunity that the Congress had been dreaming of. However, the senior leadership of the party is seemingly too busy trying to score short-term gains and is apparently missing the bigger picture.


With this high-profile arrest, the grand old party has been presented with an opportunity to reclaim the legacy of former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit and clear her name of any wrongdoing. However, instead of resurrecting Dikshit’s honour, the central leadership has somehow decided to back Kejriwal even after the arrest.

Senior Congress leaders have repeatedly pointed out that though there was no case against Sheila Dikshit, the duo of Kejriwal and Anna Hazare had steadfastly continued to demand the resignation of Dikshit and came to power riding on these allegations.

A section of Congress believes that the arrest has presented it with a golden opportunity to reemerge in key areas like Delhi and Punjab, where the AAP grew at its expense and on false allegations against Congress’ leadership.


Sources stated that there is a section of leadership in Congress who want to utilize this opportunity to ensure that it is able to regain lost ground in the national capital. “Instead of backing Kejriwal in the name of opposition unity, as AAP is also a member of INDIA bloc, the focus of the party high command should have been on distancing itself from the AAP leader,” sources said.

They pointed out that despite being in government twice, AAP has not been able to prove any charges that it had levelled against Dikshit or her ministers.

“Sheila Dikshit, perceived as one of the best CMs in our country, had to face repeated allegations of corruption by Kejriwal. Today the same Congress has to forget all this to defend Kejriwal and no one is giving a second thought to the party cadre,” sources added.


There is anger amongst party cadres that while the Congress ceded its space in Delhi and Punjab to the AAP, its top leadership is seemingly unwilling to fight back and regain its rightful share in these regions.

With four former AAP ministers, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain in Delhi and Fauja Singh Sarari and Vijay Singla in Punjab, and now Kejriwal, in a dock over corruption charges, the time is ripe for the Congress to attempt to regain its lost ground, they feel.

Earlier, the credibility of Kejriwal was irreparably damaged after a controversy over the alleged remodelling and refurbishment of his official residence in the national capital.

Interestingly, it has been the Bharatiya Janata Party which isn’t losing even a moment to bring these facts to the fore and has instead worked towards projecting the AAP’s hypocrisy over the issue of corruption. The BJP won all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in 2014 and 2019 and it aims to maintain the 100 per cent strike rate in 2024 as well.

If the Congress wants to reemerge as a serious political player and regain lost ground in Delhi and Punjab, the party’s high command needs to rethink its political strategy in the aftermath of Kejriwal's arrest. The grand old party strongly needs to put this point across to the common people that AAP's win against Sheila Dikshit was a conspiracy enacted through maligning its leaders without any evidence of corruption against her government and taking back its share of votes in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.