In His Own Tweets: Arvind Kejriwal’s 49 Days In Power

In His Own Tweets: Arvind Kejriwal’s 49 Days In Powerfeatured

In the 49 days that he was Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal tweeted just 39 times. But — perhaps more than any other Indian politician — he used Twitter to voice his opinions, announce policy, level allegations and, eventually, hint at his resignation.

Here is a recap of Kejriwal’s short-lived term, 140 characters at a time.

December 27, 2013: Kejriwal tweeted an open invitation for the public to attend his swearing-in ceremony as CM. He read his oath in Ramlila Maidan – the same site where his association with anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare in August 2011 had made him a household name.

December 29, 2013: Within a day of being sworn in as CM, Kejriwal fell sick. His Twitter followers found themselves on a whole new level of familiarity with their leader.

Undeterred, the CM was eager to make his “water announcement” – 700 litres of water provided free to Delhi households from January 2014.

In fact, so eager was the CM to make his ‘water announcement’ that he convened a meeting with the Delhi Jal Board in his Ghaziabad apartment later that day, to fulfill his election promise, denying that it was a temporary decision or a financial drain.

January 3, 2014: After drawing flak from supporters, Kejriwal refused a bungalow as his official residence. In a series of tweets, he explained that he would need adjacent houses – one to serve as his residence and the other as his office. He finally moved into a five-bedroom duplex on Bhagwan Dass Road.

January 4, 2014: Staying true to his “aam aadmi” image, Kejriwal and his party members lashed out against the VIP culture of lal battis (red beacons), security and escort cars, but said they would use government transport.

January 11, 2014: The CM’s first “Janata Darbar” outside the Delhi Secretariat turned into total chaos, resulting in him having to make a hasty exit to avoid being ‘stampeded’. Incidentally, this was after he had asked for 10 days to formulate a system for addressing public grievances, as promised during his swearing-in ceremony.

January 19, 2014: Accusing the Delhi Police of conspiring with the central government, Kejriwal lashed out at them on twitter. He also refused security despite an alleged threat from the Indian Mujahideen.

He continued his tirade against the cops, deriding them for their “lax” attitude towards women’s safety. He then announced a dharna against the police after two of his ministers claimed they unearthed a “drug and sex scandal”.

February 3, 2014: The CM announced the rollback of a CNG hike introduced by the central government the day before he was sworn in. Kejriwal’s government had challenged the hike in the Supreme Court, which then stayed the central government’s order.

The same day, he also announced that the Delhi Cabinet had cleared the final draft of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

February 4, 2014: In the midst of the power crisis in Delhi, the CM accused Anil Ambani of “playing politics”, eliciting a strong reaction from Reliance Infra.

February 8, 2014: Kejriwal urged the BJP and Congress to vote together in the Parliament on granting full statehood to Delhi, wherein the Delhi Police would be under the state government’s purview.

February 10, 2014: Kejriwal started talking about resigning as CM.

February 14, 2014: Kejriwal breaks up with the government on Valentine’s Day.

 
 


A former crime reporter from New Delhi, nowadays Indrani Basu can be found stopping people on New York streets and asking them their life histories. Tell her yours at @IndraniBasu88

 

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