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Posted at: Feb 14, 2018, 1:36 AM; last updated: Feb 14, 2018, 1:36 AM (IST)

Three years in power today, Kejri now a quieter politician

Three years in power today, Kejri now a quieter politician
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has not tweeted the word ‘Modi’ even once in the past 11 months. PTI

New Delhi, February 13

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose government completes three years in office on Wednesday, is now a quieter person vis-a-vis targeting his bitter political rival — Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Kejriwal, with 13 million followers on Twitter, has not tweeted the word “Modi” even once in the past 11 months. His last tweet mentioning Modi was on March 9, 2017. In 2016, he had mentioned “Modi” 124 times in his tweets and 33 times in 2017 — mostly attacking the PM.

Party leaders and political analysts say the change follows AAP’s election losses — first in Punjab and Goa and then in Delhi civic polls and a byelection from Rajouri Garden in 2017.

Kejriwal even refrained from personally attacking the PM when tempers between the Centre and Delhi government ran high over disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs in January. The AAP said its lawmakers were disqualified at the behest of the BJP government at the Centre.

Party leaders and some political analysts said it was more of a strategy than an accidental quietude. A senior party leader said the “conscious decision” was taken in a meeting that Kejriwal convened after last year’s debacle in Delhi civic polls. It was a big blow for AAP, which swept the Delhi elections in 2015 by winning 67 out of 70 Assembly seats.

“It (attacking Modi) was not taking us anywhere and we decided to rather focus on governance,” the AAP leader said. Political analyst Neerja Chowdhury agreed that it “was a definite change in strategy” to stop attacking Modi personally. “It is evident that AAP has lost the trust of the middle class and they need to win back the trust if they have to keep Delhi.”

Praveen Rai, a political analyst with the Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), said: “We have been seeing a much, much more sober Kejriwal. He is growing as a leader and is becoming a seasoned politician. But he has a long way to go.”

AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj attributed the shift to “a good communication system (that) keeps reinventing itself” and the party follows that idea.

“Initially people wanted to know why works in Delhi were not being done and we had to explain to them in the first two years. Now people understand that the LG is not allowing many works and files go through him,” he said. — IANS

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