Making a departure from the usual attitude of politicians in the country, Arvind Kejriwal today apologised for not stopping his speech at an event where farmer Gajendra Singh Rajput killed himself.
Kejriwal also regretted his decision to make a speech after the gruesome incident took place.
In an interview to news agency ANI, the Delhi Chief Minister said, “I think I was wrong, I should not have spoken. I didn’t think of it at that time. I apologise if I hurt anyone.”
While the man tied a noose out of a white scarf and plunged off a branch, Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders were seen taking the stage. Neither the Police nor the AAP volunteers were seen trying to stop the man from hanging himself.
Kejriwal later said that no one had expected the farmer to take such a drastic step.
The Delhi Police, however, filed an FIR against the Aam Aadmi Party stating that party workers didn’t cooperate in saving the man and even clapped and cheered, which instigated the farmer.
Defending the party, Kejriwal said, “No AAP leader made any announcement from the stage because that would have led to chaos.” At the same time, Kejriwal made a speech in which he blamed the Delhi police for acting like mute spectators.
Kejriwal also admonished the ‘hoopla’ created over the incident, saying that the media and the politicians should focus on the main issue of farmer suicides.
Meanwhile, the BJP dismissed the apology saying, “He should reflect on that day. We don’t accept the apology. He is trying to justify himself.”
The family of the 42 year-old farmer, Gajendra Singh also rejected the Chief Minister’s apology saying it was “too little, too late”.
In order to regain dominance in the country, the Congress is mulling using the tribal card. This plan of action is to be first implemented in Chhattisgarh.
Riding on the success of the Assembly and urban body elections, the Congress feels that it can increase it base through tribals as they constitute 8 per cent of the total population.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the first three Assembly elections in the state, after its formation in 2000, recorded huge victories and came to power. But after the Assembly elections held last year, the scenario changed. After registering a victory in the Assembly elections and then in the urban body polls, the Congress showed that it still dominates the tribal areas.
The Congress gave the responsibility of the tribal areas to the tribal leader of Madhya Pradesh Umang Singhar which eventually helped the party. Now, the party is planning to spread out nationwide through Chhattisgarh.
Former party president Rahul Gandhi, while inaugurating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur, gave a message to the tribals who are here to participate in the festival that the Chhattisgarh government is working for all the sections and this is the reason why there has been a downward trend in naxal attacks and the state economy has also improved.
The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country because the tribal population in the state is 32 per cent.
BJP media panellist Sandeep Sharma, however, claims that the party’s base has not shrunk. He said till Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were not divided, the Congress was strong in the area but in the elections held after three years of the bifurcation, the BJP won the Assembly elections and was in power for 15 years. Though we faced defeat in the 2018 elections, the only reason was that people wanted a change but they were not angry with the BJP, he claimed.
The BJP won in the Lok Sabha elections and the margin in the urban body elections was also not much. So, it would be inappropriate to say that the BJP’s base has shrunk, he said adding that in one year the Congress’ base has declined by 9 per cent whereas in Assembly elections it got 12 per cent more votes and in urban body elections the margin was 3 per cent.
Analysing the political landscape of the state, political analyst Rudra Awasthi said, “When it was Madhya Pradesh then the Congress had stronghold in Chhattisgarh. Several big leaders were also from the state but after the formation of Chhattisgarh since Ajit Jogi was accused of being a fake tribal the Congress lost its stronghold over the tribals. Though it continued to dominate in some of the areas which helped it in regaining the power.
“As of now, the Congress has started including the tribals with the backward class. First Bhupesh Baghel was the state chief of the party and he was replaced by Mohan Markam as he became the Chief Minister. During the Assembly elections, the Congress talked about the identity of the tribals which helped the party. After winning the elections, the decisions of the Congress government were in favour of the tribals which helped the party in the urban body elections,” said Awasthi.
The Congress is mulling over spreading its message to the tribals across the country through the three-day festival going on here. For this several senior leaders of the party will attend the festival and share the government’s schemes while giving the message that the Congress government in the state has brought a positive and a significant change in the lives of the tribals. (IANS)