The Twitter warrior trades insults for criticism

BY JYOTI MALHOTRA| IN Opinion | 14/09/2016
As Delhi reels under the double whammy of dengue and chikungunya CM Kejriwal and his men are missing in action and battling critics from afar
JYOTI MALHOTRA tracks their missiles


Jyoti Malhotra


As Delhi reels under the double whammy of dengue and chikungunya – six people have died of the latter by mid-day September 14 – and the Delhi media puts the Aam Aadmi Party government on the mat for absenting itself while these diseases rage across the city, Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia launched a series of tweet-missiles from Finland where he is currently soaking in the multi-splendoured sights at the risk of attending an education conference.

The six tweets, all in Hindi, had the following message :

For the last one-two months, Delhi government’s officials are only doing one thing, which is that they are reading the files of the last 18 months and sending them to Lt Gov Najeeb Jung. These officials don’t bother to come to meetings called by ministers, and are absent for long hours every day..

Then @msisodia attacked the press :

If there are any journalists who don’t cater to the ‘Modi school of journalism,’ then they should decide who is the government. Is it the LG or the Chief Minister? And if they believe that the LG has all the rights, then they should ask him what his duties and responsibilities are, in matters like this? Moreover, having made useless and irresponsible officials the head of the Health department, where did the LG himself disappear?

Sisodia was echoing the uncouth broadside launched by his chief minister, @ArvindKejriwal against @ShekharGupta, senior journalist and editor of the media startup @theprintindia, only the day before.


Gupta was reflecting the widespread unease about @AAP’s ambitions in the country. The two-year-long scrap between @ArvindKejriwal and L-G Najeeb Jung on who was Delhi’s most powerful man had been decided a month or so ago by the Delhi High Court in favour of Jung. The High Court had only cited the peculiar nature of Delhi to give the argument in favour of the L-G, but the canny Kejriwal saw this as a heaven-sent opportunity to spread his wings. In any case, Delhi was too complicated to fix.

But Kejriwal was having none of it. How dare anyone question The Chief Minister Of Delhi ? The rage spun out in a couple of tweets in Hindi, in answer to Shekhar Gupta :

Raajniti karni hai, khul ke saamne aao. Pehle congress ki dalaali karte the, ab modi ki? Aise logon ne patrakarita ko ganda kiya

If you want to do politics, then do so openly. Earlier, you were a pimp (dalaal) for the Congress, now you are doing the same for Modi. It is people like you who have blackened the name of journalism.

And again :

Do shabd apne maalik ke bare mein bhi bol do jo duniya conquer karne chalein hain?

You should also say a few things about your boss who has set off to conquer the world.

So Kejriwal sent his cadres to Punjab – wrecked by drug abuse over the years and now ripe for the picking – and to Goa, a city-state which seemed to respond to his slogans of starting afresh and shutting down the corruption that largely emanated from the builder-politician nexus plaguing this paradise.

According to the @timesofindia, Kejriwal has been out for most of last month. From July 31-August 11 he was practicing Vipassana in Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh, from August 20-22 he was in Goa, then in Punjab for two days, then in Rome from September 3-7 to attend Mother Teresa’s canonization, back to Punjab immediately thereafter, and now in Bangalore for throat surgery from September 12-22.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia fared only slightly better. He was out in Goa from September 6-8 and is currently in Finland. Labour minister Gopal Rai is in Chhattisgarh for a labour conference from September 9-20, while the Environment minister Imran Hussain is on Haj from August 27-September 27. Health minister Satyendar Jain was also in Rome with his boss – although no one explained why – from September 3-7 and immediately thereafter in Goa from September 9-13.

So when @rahulkanwal of @IndiaToday asked if the LG should take over Delhi…



Kejriwal replied :


Your concern is not Delhi. Your concern is that we r winning other states n defeating BJP.

The Hindi news channel @aajtak asked why in Punjab, AAP had issued a manifesto with 8 promises, but how many of these had been fulfilled in Delhi? Instead of responding to the question, AAP leader Sanjay Singh, party-incharge in Punjab tweeted :

Do have the courage to ask how many promises Modi fulfilled ?

Kejriwal was quick to retweet his loyal soldier.

For the next several hours, Kejriwal must have scoured the net to retweet only those views which supported him. For example, the tweet below by Ashutosh, a former journalist :

The whole and sole responsibility to prevent mosquito breeding is with Delhi's MCD but see the condition states rising cases of chkngunia
Arvind retweeted

But when Ashutosh @ashu3pg pointed out that :

Though it is responsibilty of MCD to prevent mosquito menace, but Delhi health Min Satyendra Jain's absence at such time is questionable.

Kejriwal replied :

CM n min left wid no power now, even to buy a pen. LG n PM enjoy all powers wrt Del. LG abroad. Question them for Del

Of course, Kejriwal found time to respond to Patidars being beaten up in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, comment on the sacking of Arunachal Pradesh governor Rajkhowa, and why the National Commission for Women was letting off Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on the Snoop-gate charges against an unwilling victim.

Still, in this entire tamasha, kudos must be given to Ajay Maken, president of the Delhi state Congress, who is now organizing a ‘Bhagaura Divas’, or “Runners Day”on September 16, spoofing AAP leaders who “ran away” from Delhi when they should have stayed to demonstrate solidarity. At least, the somnolent Congress is waking up.

@ajaymaken also staked the claim to the chief minister’s chair in his blogpost :

“Kejriwal should resign if he is unable to govern. We are ready to govern Delhi and deliver under the present set-up.

Maken knows, if anyone does, that it was the Congress vote which shifted almost in its entirety to AAP, about 15 per cent, which won it the day in Delhi against the BJP. If the Congress hadn’t wilted under the double pressure, it might have survived to fight another day. As it is, the haul seems very long.

Then Maken put out a cartoon, which must win the honour of the best tweet of the day :



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