20 April, 2021

'Delhi Is The Beginning. I Won’t Call It A Test Case.'

The earnest 43-year-old former IRS officer on the road ahead

Tribhuvan Tiwari
'Delhi Is The Beginning. I Won’t Call It A Test Case.'

It is 7.30 am on a Sunday in Delhi. In his scuffed trousers and limp and loose shirt­sleeves, Arvind Kejriwal looks quite the mas­cot of the Aam Admi Party (AAP), of which he is not just the face but the spirit and chief ministerial candidate all rolled into one. He’s about to hit the trail in his Wagon R when he’s accosted with a ticket distribution headache. An unhappy group wants to know why the party has withdrawn the candidate from Palam Vihar. He convinces them that the candidate had failed to measure up to the party’s three-point rubric: no corruption charge, no criminal case, no extra-marital affair. It’s this iron-clad regime of ethical tenets that is working, making some inroads into a cynical Delhi’s collective political psyche. “Honest hai yeh admi,” is what many are saying. They are also asking quest­ions: Will AAP be able to win and change things or will it end up as an also-ran? How long before it becomes indistinguishable from other parties? But for now,...

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