You know who’s the biggest loser in the whole demonetisation politics?
I don’t think it’s the BJP or the Congress.
The answer is Arvind Kejriwal.
Politics is a game of numbers. Those numbers are essentially votes casted on the basis of performance and perceptions. And Kejriwal right now is losing the battle of perception.
It’s ironic that a man who co-organised the India Against Corruption movement is now opposing PM Narendra Modi’s clampdown on black money.
The demonetisation, with all its flaws, is embraced by the public. By opposing it vehemently, Kejriwal has dented his own image as a crusader against corruption.
There are many critics of this Modi scheme but very few or none, including the Congress, have questioned the intent. But the Delhi CM is the only one who smells something fishy.
To oppose an issue as emotive as the black money and cast aspersions on Modi without any evidence harms Kejriwal more than doing him any good politically.
Moreover, the BJP must have loved the sight of the Delhi CM sharing a dais with Mamata Banerjee and even awkwardly lifting her hands. This awkward moment is a deja vu moment for Kejriwal, bringing back memories of another awkward moment last year when he hugged Lalu Yadav.
Kejriwal before joining politics had censured all the political parties with no exceptions, painting all of them as corrupt. But his affability with the West Bengal CM (whose party MLA was arrested in the Saradha scam) and Lalu (who was himself jailed for corruption) is extremely embarrassing for the AAP leader and his followers.
It’s a fall for the man who had promised a political revolution.
Worse, it will be difficult for the Indian public to embarrass anyone in future who arrives with a broom in their hand, promising to sweep away corruption.