On Wednesday, a Delhi court ordered the arrest of AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal for refusing to furnish a bail bond of Rs 10,000 in a defamation case filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari. Kejriwal had stated that furnishing a bail bond was 'against the principles of his party' and hence declined to do the same.
On Thursday, AAP leader Yogendra Yadav, who had also been arrested, was let off on bail. The ongoing drama has dismayed Kejriwal's supporters and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which took to the streets condemning the court's decision. On Twitter too, several people backed Kejriwal, with #IStandWithKejriwal trending in India. One user compared Arvind Kejriwal's predicament to that of Mahatma Gandhi:
— Reclaim Bharat (@youthwithaap) May 22, 2014
This AAP fan was full of venom for other politicians:
Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad #IStandWithKejriwal
— AAP Ka Vijay (@aapvj) May 22, 2014
This is some new logic from another AAP fan:
Has MMS been proved corrupt in court? if not , then Many BJP leaders need to be sent to jail. #IStandWithKejriwal
— Proud AAPian (@shalendra100) May 22, 2014
Umesh alleges bias when it comes to the BJP:
Dharna By AAP Is Always A Drama But Drama By BJP Is Always a Satyagraha. - Great Indian Dalal Media #IStandWithKejriwal
— Umesh (@aap_umesh) May 22, 2014
Another tweet that labels the new government as 'corrupt':
— AAP Venkatesh (@jvsk3) May 22, 2014
Not sure what this person means:
#IStandWithKejriwal in Tihar Jail? Go to hell!
— ShivTriology (@NaMoChaha) May 22, 2014
Now this seems to be a more reasoned opinion:
— @Irahulgandhi (@Irahulgandhi) May 22, 2014
This tweet indirectly blames Congress for Kejriwal's arrest:
— AtheistClub (@Atheist_Club) May 22, 2014
Siddharth's logic is worth thinking over, but has AAP furnish proof yet that Nitin Gadkari is 'corrupt?'
— Siddharth Setia (@ethicalsid) May 22, 2014
In political circles and among the general public (apart from staunch AAP supporters), Kejriwal's move to decline bail is being spoken of as a political strategy to garner sympathy. Whether the act actually results in a wave of sympathy for AAP and Kejriwal remains to be seen. The Delhi Assembly elections will happen soon and the effect (or lack of effect) of Kejriwal's tactics will be apparent then. However, there is no doubt that AAP needs to introspect and restrategise after its poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections.