Arvind Kejriwal is a politician who doesn't believe in the traditional pattern of politics. He proved on Tuesday that by being a smart politician, he can make even a powerful outfit like the BJP bite the dust. And even after winning, Kejriwal didn't stop making statements that would go a long way in felicitating his style of politics that caters to the ambitious middle-class.
Kejriwal, who had quit as the chief minister of Delhi after only 49 days in February last year, introduced his wife Sunita to the supporters who assembled outside the AAP's office to congratulate him. He then went on to hug her.
He also praised his wife saying she never came forward because she is a government employee and is scared that the government might take action against her. He said he brought her forcefully after the AAP won the election and the government wouldn't take action against her.
Kejriwal also thanked his wife on Twitter later in the day for "being there" for him.
Apparently, this gesture of Kejriwal looks an innocuous one, a sort of feel-good family act. But it is certainly not a casual gesture and has a political significance.
Kejriwal, by acknowledging his wife's unseen contribution towards his own achievement, has suddenly made the woman factor in politics, which is more of a male-dominated domain in India, a significant one. It is likely to score two points.
1. A sensitive leader towards women after the Ugandan women fiasco
First, it will send the message across that Delhi's next chief minister has a sensitive mind towards women. The AAP chief had faced a flak last time after one of his ministers landed in a trouble involving Ugandan women in the capital and this was certainly an attempt to recover the image.
2. Countering the male-dominated right-wing camp of Indian politics
Secondly, this move by Kejriwal is certainly going to be a hit among the middle-class supporters, even those outside Delhi, who do not like the right-wing camp's masculine ways of looking at things.
The BJP and the saffron camp have been accused of not attaching much importance to women power and Kejriwal had a perfect opportunity to score a point.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi's private life has been a
subject of criticism from a section of the media and the voters,
thanks to his estranged wife Jashodaben. Kejriwal's public
acknowledgement of his wife's contribution is an exact anti-thesis
to Modi's case and hence politically productive.
3. Not a dictator in the party as it was often charged
Thirdly, through such family-oriented views, Kejriwal countered the charges that he acts like a dictator in the party. A number of leaders left the party in the recent past after accusing Kejriwal of running the party as the boss and not listening to anybody else. By showing his softer side by backing his wife, Kejriwal showed none of such charges had any base.