If there was any doubt before, it is clear now that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has given up his brand of combative politics. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Kejriwal launched into what could be the beginning of an apology spree and apologised to Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal and Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari for making unverified allegations of corruption against them. The development came days after Kejriwal apologised to former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia.
After he tendered his apology, Kejriwal was acquitted in two separate defamation cases lodged against him by Amit Sibal, a senior advocate and son of former Union minister Kapil Sibal, and Gadkari. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, a co-accused with Kejriwal in the defamation case lodged by Sibal, was also acquitted after he, too, tendered an apology to the lawyer. Kejriwal intends to bring an end to the 33 defamation cases against him by means of similar out-of-court settlements and individual “understandings”, say sources. According to AAP leaders, the various cases have drained the party’s resources and money.
The Congress and the BJP, however, hauled Kejriwal over the coals. The Opposition party advised that the Delhi chief minister should change his name to Arvind ‘Sorry’ Kejriwal, while the ruling party at the Centre lashed out at the AAP chief’s brand of politics.
The AAP chief has been dragged to courts in multiple defamation cases lodged by various political leaders, including Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Kejriwal still has to contend with Jaitley’s case, and sources in the AAP had told news agencies last week that the senior BJP leader could also soon receive an apology from the Delhi chief minister.
Last week, Kejriwal wrote to Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia, apologising for accusing him of being involved in drug trade without any proof to back the allegations. The apology, however, did not go down to well with everyone and triggered what amounted to a virtual rebellion in the AAP Punjab unit. Subsequently, Bhagwant Mann resigned as AAP’s Punjab unit chief. However, things seem to have improved since Kejriwal’s meeting with AAP members of the Punjab legislative Assembly, with most saying they understand the decision of the party’s national convenor.
Amit Sibal had filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal and Sisodia for alleging that Kapil Sibal had a conflict in seeking to revise a tax demand on telecom major Vodafone. In 2014, Gadkari had filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal after the AAP chief named him in a list of “corrupt politicians”. In the defamation case filed by Gadkari, it was alleged that Kejriwal had called him “India’s most corrupt”.
Here are the top 10 developments in Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s apology spree that has so far covered Majithia, Sibal and Gadkari: