Kejriwal 'feeling fresh', will return to Delhi today

  • HT Correspondent and Agencies, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 16, 2015 15:08 IST

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who will return to the Capital on Monday after spending 10 days at a naturopathy centre in Bengaluru, will have to tackle the internal crisis within the AAP and handle accusations of horse-trading and communal politics.

"Cough gone, sugar under control. Feeling fresh n fit. Am excited to return to resume work," he tweeted before leaving Bengaluru, "Grateful 2 Jindal institute,its docs,staff. Congratulations 2 Sitaram ji for setting up such a wonderful institute n running it so well."

Kejriwal, who will reach the Delhi on Monday evening, is likely to join office on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old, who is also the convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), will be discharged from the Jindal Naturecure Institute on Monday at 2pm after final check-up and briefing by doctors treating him since March 6 on how he should continue the prescribed regime, including diet and exercises for another fortnight to maintain his improved health.

In his absence his party was gripped by infighting and is still struggling to contain the resulting internal crisis and stave off the damaging fall-out amid criticisms by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

The rift within the party came to the forth after the ouster of AAP's founding members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from its political affairs committee. After that a series of allegations and counter-allegations as well as a sting operation by detractors of Kejriwal with allegations of attempts to poach six Congress MLAs to form the government last year came into public.

AAP's Maharashtra face Anjali Damania quit the party in protest and asked for a probe into the audio tape that had Kejriwal allegedly speaking with former party leader R Garg.

Kejriwal himself has come under fire in public from Yadav and Bhushan who have openly questioned his 'dictatorial' style of working and allegations of 'unilateral' decision making.

Reacting to the turmoil within AAP, Kejriwal had spoken about providing good governance to Delhi and changing the system.

"I fight a lot in my party when people say 'we have won Delhi, we can win elsewhere too'. I am not Napoleon who has entered (the arena) to win. I want to change the system," Kejriwal told fellow residents at the camp which he joined to treat a chronic cough and high blood sugar levels.

AAP leaders as well as volunteers have been eagerly awaiting his return and Kejriwal is expected to handle the crisis and steer the party out of the public spats and clear its name.

Sources, however, said that the chief minister is likely to stay away from controversy surrounding his party.

Government sources said reviewing the anti-corruption helpline and power situation will be top on his priority list.

The Delhi government has decided to revive the anti-corruption helpline it launched during its previous 49-day term.

"Kejriwal had discussed a plan to revive the helpline at the last cabinet meeting. The staff is undergoing training and we will move towards launching the helpline after the review. This was not discussed during the last cabinet meeting held on Friday in Kejriwal's absence, but will be on top priority once he returns to office," said a Delhi government official.

During the AAP's first stint in Delhi, the government had launched an eight digit anticorruption helpline that was later changed to four digits - 1031. The helpline was flooded with calls, of which only 25% could be attended. As a result, the government had to increase the number of operators from 10 to 30 and the number of lines from 30 to 60.

"We do not want the same situation again and are training the officers for the same. The training will last 10-15 days after which the helpline will be launched. People victimised by bribe demands can record the act and send it across. The government will take subsequent action," said the official.

Ideas to implement the AAP government's promise of providing free Wi-Fi to Delhiites will also be next on his agenda and sources said it is likely to be crowdsourced.

The Delhi Dialogue Commission, after deliberations with experts from the telecom industry, has come up with the following set of 10 questions for a wider consultation.

The commission is inviting suggestions, viewpoints and recommendations to each of the 10 questions on its email ID,, and the WhatsApp helpline +919643327265.

Kejriwal was being treated for his chronic cough and high blood sugar level at the private hospital.

The chief minister's parents Gobind Ram and Gita Devi were also staying with him in a three bedroom cottage named "Nest" in the midst of the sprawling green campus on the National Highway 4.

As inmates (patient) are not allowed to use mobile phones or meet outsiders or visitors during their stay in the institute for its treatment, Kejriwal has kept away from both over the last 10 days.

The Delhi chief minister is also learnt to have neither used the landline in his cottage nor watched television, as he was busy with the treatment from dawn-to-dusk and had to sleep by 9pm.

"Kejriwal also interacted with about 40 inmates at a cultural event in the institute on Saturday night and posed for pictures with them," institute medical director Babina Nandakumar said.

(With IANS inputs)


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