If you are lucky, shoot-and-scoot style of functioning may work in politics for some time. But not on social media where every user is a judge who keeps track of what you post. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is learning this hard these days.
Kejriwal is on an apology spree in a bid to correct past statements that have mounted a number of defamation cases against him. The AAP chief has already got respite from Union minister Nitin Gadkari, SAD leader Bikram Majithia and Amit Sibal, son of Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
There are still 14 cases of defamation, overall 30 cases, against the Delhi chief minister. Among all the cases, the biggest case facing Kejriwal is the one filed against him by Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley. In 2015, Kejriwal had made corruption allegations against Jaitley. The Delhi CM and a few other AAP leaders had accused the Union minister of committing financial irregularities while serving as the DDCA chief between 2000 and 2013.
In December 2015, Kejriwal had accused Jaitley of sending the CBI to his residence to look into purported files related to the DDCA case. Following this, Jaitley had filed a criminal defamation suit against Kejriwal. The Union minister had also filed a civil defamation suit seeking Rs 10 crore as damages from the Delhi CM. The case has reached an advanced stage in Delhi court.
Jaitley has reportedly refused to accept the Delhi CM’s apology and rejected the proposal of an out-of-court settlement in the defamation cases. Interestingly, Jaitley’s refusal to accept Kejriwal’s apology comes three years after the Delhi CM had bragged about BJP “almost begging” him for an apology on Twitter. The Delhi CM had then said he would not compromise or apologise and fight out the defamation case against Jaitley. His recent apology spree shows a change in strategy for the Delhi chief minister, who has chosen a different track even at the cost of irking AAP followers, volunteers and leaders.
Blast from the past
“BJP almost begging me for an apology. Sorry. I won’t oblige them. Let Jaitley ji be cross-examined in defamation cases. Let truth prevail,” Kejriwal had tweeted on December 28, 2015.
As a rookie politician, Kejriwal thought it wise to level wild allegations against leading opposition politicians and fight defamation cases. The AAP chief hoped the cases would help him earn the sympathy of the voters but the mounting number of cases in several parts of the country has forced the Delhi CM to settle cases by making a personal apology. But Kejriwal can certainly not run away from statements he made in past.
BJP almost begging me for an apology. Sorry. I won’t oblige them. Let Jaitley ji be cross-examined in defamation cases. Let truth prevail
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 28, 2015
The AAP chief had apologised to Nitin Gadkari and Amit Sibal Monday. This move helped Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia get acquitted in two different defamation cases lodged against them by Gadkari and Sibal.