The Telegraph
Saturday , February 15 , 2014
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First voices: Well done, Arvind

New Delhi, Feb. 14: Arvind Kejriwal broke off his 49-day relationship with the Delhi secretariat but his romance with the middle class seemed to be going strong this Valentine’s Day.

Anshu Balaji, who works in an advertising firm, expressed sadness at the resignation.

“Kejriwal shouldn’t have resigned. He should have worked within the system and tried to make it better. I saw only one hope in this system, and that was Arvind Kejriwal. I trust him. As chief minister, he could have done a lot of things that the aam aadmi cannot,” the 45-year-old mother said.

“I am not sad because he won’t be able to fulfil the promises of water and electricity, which would have helped me in my daily life. I am sad because he stood up against corruption and bribery and now being outside the system, it will be difficult for him to crack down on the corrupt.”

Blaming corruption within the system for Kejriwal’s resignation, Delhi-based dentist Soumitri Chakroborty said: “Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation today is not a defeat for him or for the AAP. It is the defeat of every educated right-minded Indian. It proves again why India is the 93rd corrupt nation in the world, despite being the largest democracy.”

Some ardent AAP supporters felt the former IRS official had corrected the mistake he had made by agreeing to become the chief minister of a “minority” government.

“I think he shouldn’t have formed the government in the first place. When you are fighting against a system, you cannot do so while being part of it,” said Anusuya Datta, who works for a geo-spatial magazine in the capital. “I think his decision to quit is admirable.”

“He is unlike other CMs and PMs who have continued to hold office even after it was obvious that they have lost support in the House. They chose to hold on to power through number games, but no party or leader takes responsibility and quits. My only regret is that now the Commonwealth Games files will be buried,” she added.

Although the middle class continues to stand strong behind Kejriwal, their love has not made them blind to the leader’s faults.

Amrita Mukherjee, who works for a publishing house and voted for the AAP during the elections, said: “The way things have panned out over the past few weeks, I feel a sense of betrayal. He is not really fulfilling promises. The sense of betrayal is over the way he functions, the people in his government, like Somnath Bharti.”

“His announcement that he would quit over the Jan Lokpal bill wasn’t a clever move. Now he loses face if he doesn’t quit. He has made a mess of things. He should have just concentrated on governance and focused on being more productive,” the 27-year-old said.

But asked if she would vote for him again, Mukherjee held out some hope: “Only if he comes back stronger and wiser.

For BPO executive Atanu Sanyal, Kejriwal seemed like a man in a hurry.

“He seemed in a hurry to resign and get on with it. If he failed to come through on his main election promise of the Jan Lokpal bill, then what was the necessity for him to stick on? The Congress and the BJP grouped together to make his tenure impossible. They criticised him for not doing things that they themselves failed to do for the past 15 years. I hope the AAP comes back stronger, and I will continue to vote for them,” said Sanyal.

For some like corporate lawyer Suhas Sinha, the resignation meant Kejriwal could now focus on India, rather than concentrating on Delhi.

“I think it was time he quit. He should now campaign all over India, just like (Narendra) Modi. He could have done a thousand things wrong, but you have to give it to the fellow. He dared to go where no one else did. He said and did many things that no one had the guts to bring into the public domain.”

Commending the AAP leader, Sinha added: “Can you imagine filing a case against Mukesh Ambani? Can you think of any CM doing that? We need these kind of people in the system to cleanse it, give this entire system a mighty shake.”