Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal completed 50 days in office on Sunday (though he took some leaves for treatment, yet we are not including that part). The number is significant for Kejriwal since the man could survive just 49 days as the chief minister in his first stint in 2013-14.
He was mocked by opposition leaders for quitting the office in days that followed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had even named him AK49 (Arvind Kejriwal 49) for his small stay in power. [Endless chaos in AAP: Will Kejriwal be a CM without a party soon?]
How has been the journey of Kejriwal in his second term? Is he a more happy man now? [AAP widens crackdown on dissidents, suspends Punjab leader]
The answer can not be given in the affirmative for sure. Kejriwal though made a huge comeback after his party grabbed 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi assembly in the February election and brought the BJP led by the PM back on the ground, his party started witnessing implosions soon after. [Prashant Bhushan's open letter bomb]
Implosion in the party
Psephologist-politician Yogendra Yadav, who Kejriwal had once called his "valued colleague" had a serious difference with the latter along with Prashant Bhushan and the duo were ousted from various posts of the party. Their followers were given a shabby treatment at the party's National Executive meeting on March 28. All this happened after a series of sting operations that showed the other side of Kejriwal, who had so far been using the same weapon against his opponents.
Focus remains on populist governance
In terms of governance, the AAP's focus has so far been limited to cheap water and electricity for Delhiites, something populist that the party has always promised.
Can the AAP government achieve anything serious if it continues to struggle within itself? Can Kejriwal alone keep things in control if the number of people quitting the party or getting sacked increase with time?
The top leadership of the new party, which is often termed as a new experiment in India's politics, can't hope to deliver on its promises if it doesn't redefine its own role and responsibility. The party thrives too much on moral righteousness and just fighting against corruption is not going to give it much of a mileage. For that is a job of an NGO or a pressure group. For a political party, the range of activism needs to be much broader.