FairPoint: If mangoes were for bail, then CM Kejriwal would ride out of jail

FairPoint: If mangoes were for bail, then CM Kejriwal would ride out of jail

As the common people await mangoes to flood the market, a special ‘Aam Aadmi’ has been quietly devouring them in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

There is nothing wrong with eating a mango, but it can create a mess if not done properly. And, this is what the Aam Aadmi Party and its founder Arvind Kejriwal have landed in.

The Aam Aadmi Party chief has been caught in the act literally -- eating mangoes, sweets, aloo-puri, etc., in jail. Again, there is nothing wrong with relishing mangoes and all those dishes. After all, he is the CM of the national capital and can have any type of home meal, even inside the jail (as the court has permitted).

However, controversy arose when the ED revealed in court that the CM, who is diabetic, was eating mangoes, sweets, etc. to fall sick to create conditions for making a bail plea. A diabetic is supposed to be cautious with food because any deviation can be detrimental to the health system. This is what almost every household in the country knows. Kejriwal and his family know too. So, then why eat mangoes and sweets?

CM Kejriwal is known for disruptive politics and does things for a reason. When he ate mangoes and other things prohibited for a diabetic, he knew what he was doing. However, the likely-would-be-disruption got caught in the eagle eyes of the ED, which complained to the court.

Outside the court, Kejriwal’s food has now become the only issue for the AAP to raise the flag against the BJP. Its leaders are alleging that there is a “conspiracy to kill Kejriwal”. While the BJP is countering this with its logic of Kejriwal’s hit-and-run politics, the Congress is sitting pretty. Interestingly, the main complainant in the excise policy case is the Congress, and yet it has not been attacking Kejriwal, a partner in the INDIA bloc.

Both AAP and BJP are trying to play up the mango episode to their advantage. While they push and shove, the common people are amused at the turn of events.

Kejriwal’s image of a typical middle-class babu with oiled hair and slippers has worked wonders for him. Delhiites gave him a huge mandate in the Assembly elections in 2015 and 2020. Instead of acknowledging the mandate and fulfilling all the promises he made during the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption movement, he simply turned the button off.

Kejriwal’s ‘style’ of working saw his close friends like Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Kumar Vishwas, Mayank Gandhi and several others, losing favour and finally getting out of the party which they had helped to form. Mayank Gandhi had even said in 2015 while launching his book ‘AAP and Down’, that “Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has compromised with party principles.” He and many others have said that Kejriwal “is autocratic and not democratic” – certainly a quality that does not go with the 'Mango Man' image.

For CM Kejriwal, who claimed that the party was based on the principles of transparency, most activities have not been so transparent. And the alleged excise police scam case is a pointer to this. The ED, which has arrested him in connection with the probe into the alleged case, has called him the ‘kingpin’. How the case shapes up in the court cannot be predicted.

The Kejriwal of 2011 has simply vanished and the Kejriwal of 2024 is a typical politician whose only concern is to stay in power and get votes somehow. He shares the stage with all those whom he had accused of corruption a decade ago and is, sadly, seeking their validation and support.

Thirteen years ago, he began with the Lokpal movement that sought an ombudsman to look into complaints of corruption against government officials. But today, this former government official and serving Chief Minister of Delhi is in jail on corruption charges. He had said years ago: “Without jumping into the system, it will be impossible to clean up the system. We are going to challenge this system.” He did jump into the system but the glitter of power was perhaps too strong.

Ironically, today he is the accused in corruption cases and is using Mangifera Indica to beat the system and create a sensation. The now-not-so-mango-man has a lot to answer to the 'mango' people, who prefer to visit and jostle in local markets where the king of fruits, incidentally, is yet to make an appearance.