The former preferred the 'apolitical' way by continuing the fight from a civil society platform while the latter decided to test himself and his followers in electoral politics. The leaders looked stubborn and allowed the movement to get divided and hence diluted at a premature stage.
The result could be seen, soon after the assembly elections got over in five states. The lack of consensus among the anti-corruption crusaders on how to wage the battle made it easy for their opponents to cash in on the opportunities. The swift passage of the Lokpal Bill in the Parliament this week ensured that the establishment is still a power to reckon and that the storm that Kejriwal's firebrand politics raised is temporary.
'Apolitical' Anna showed a better political maturity than 'political' Kejriwal
The Congress, which looked down and almost out even a week ago, has got a welcome breather by backing the Lokpal Bill, even if called a Jokepal by Kjeriwal and his team. This would not have been the case had Hazare and Kejriwal fought the battle together as they did two years ago.
Kejriwal is on a sticky wicket now because of two reasons. First, he has completely failed to meet the people's aspiration when it came to deal with the post-poll situation in Delhi. He looked novice and even misread the basics of the science of politics. More delay on the Delhi drama will hurt Kejriwal's political career immensely.
The second reason is of course the Lokpal Bill. Anna Hazare is a clear winner over Kejriwal in strategising. The latter, who was the symbol of the anti-corruption crusade in India before Kejriwal overtook him, found a big opportunity to revive his prospects and did not bother about the moral principles when he thanked Rahul Gandhi for backing the bill.
He showed much flexibility, a key requirement in politics, while Kejriwal remained a stubborn man and hence is running out of friends fast. While 'apolitical' Hazare was better at politics, 'political' Kejriwal tried to remain apolitical, this is precisely the story of the two anti-corruption crusader. The Congress and BJP also found it convenient to get closer with Hazare on the Lokpal to corner Kejriwal who has been calling the shots in Delhi.
The real loser is Kejrwal. For now, with the Lokpal on way to become a reality, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could run out of a poll agenda. Four months ahead of the big polls, it will not be a happy news for the newly formed party. Its opponents, including the beleaguered Congress, will pounce on it, both over its idle stand on Delhi and the lack of a credible agenda, once the Lokpal is gone.It will be difficult for Kejriwal even to amend his image of a firebrand politician for the space of moderatism has already been occupied by Hazare, whose stature will surely be on the rise at the moment.
For the AAP, December 8 is gradually looking a distant past.