Mon. Jul 6th, 2020

Ailing Arvind Kejriwal targets autowallahs in Bengaluru

3 min read

Not much seems to have changed for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who is undergoing naturopathy treatment in Bengaluru.

Kejriwal, who has been constantly monitoring the sanitation workers’ strike in Delhi, addressed a rally of auto rickshaw drivers in Bengaluru on Sunday evening. Interestingly, patients at the Jindal Nature Cure Institute are strictly advised to stay away from the phone and other distractions.

Unlike his previous visit to the institute in March, 2015, when he kept himself disconnected from politics and media, his current stay has been largely dominated by political activities. Sources close to Kejriwal said he had requested doctors at the institute for a ‘break’ to address the auto rickshaw drivers on Sunday. Kejriwal, however, maintained it was not a political rally but a ‘genuine cause’ that he was addressing. “The rally was planned long back as part of the AAP’s ‘bribe free’ campaign in Karnataka.

Arvind Kejriwal’s presence in the rally was primarily aimed at boosting the morale of the auto rickshaw drivers who are harassed by the irrational Motor Vehicles Act which makes it mandatory for them to produce class 8th certificate for obtaining a licence. The Delhi CM had asked for ‘special leave’ from doctors to extend moral support to the drivers,” said Siddharth Sharma, coconvener of AAP’s Karnataka unit.

Sharma said Kejriwal has been prescribed a strict routine at the nature cure institute; however, political compulsions sometimes force him to step out. “Nobody is allowed to meet him (Kejriwal) at the institute. Like other patients, he has to follow a strict route,” Sharma said. “We follow a strict protocol on the premises, as our healing system involves several rigorous practices and our patients should not remain distracted. We have asked the Delhi CM to stay away from any stressinducing circumstances, including any kind of political discussions or telephonic conversations. We attach a lot of importance to discipline as part of the treatment,” sources said.

Even during his previous stay, Kejriwal was kept away from political discussions with only some of his close officials being allowed to meet him. Notably, the political situation in Delhi aggravated the day Kejriwal was admitted to the institute on January 27, when nearly 1.5 lakh employees of the three MCDs went on indefinite strike demanding their long-due salary. Since then, the Delhi CM has been monitoring the developments in the Capital while lauding the efforts made by his government to deal with the crisis. Through a series of tweets, Kejriwal extended support to striking workers demanding dues. He expressed hope that some solution will emerge after the high court hears the matter next week. “I support demand of protesting MCD employees that they shud get their full salaries. I hope some solution will emerge after Tue HC hearing (sic),” Kejriwal said on Twitter.

The chief minister also lauded the efforts of the state’s public works department personnel for working all night to clear garbage, and urged AAP functionaries to help them. “I am told PWD people and trucks worked whole nite to clean up garbage. I wud urge all AAP volunteers to help PWD (sic),” he tweeted.

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