Back in 2013, this is what Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted about Lalu Prasad Yadav:
Laloo made crores in fodder scam. But no order for recovery of that money. Just 25 lakh fine and few years in jail. A sweet deal— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 3, 2013
So understandably when this happened on Friday, not everyone was amused:
Lalu with Kejriwal at the swearing in ceremony. Source: PTI
But Lalu seemed to have been in a mood for hugs. He even gave one to Rahul Gandhi, despite the Congress Vice President having been instrumental in ensuring he couldn’t contest elections due to his conviction in the fodder scam:
Lalu with Rahul Gandhi at the swearing in. Source: PTI
But while there was little reaction to the Congress Vice President hugging the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, there was a furore over the Delhi Chief Minister. Perhaps the expectations were higher because of the Delhi Chief Minister’s roots in the anti-corruption movement in 2012 and his tweets about Lalu in the past.
Which might explain why some Twitterati responded with things like:
#BiharShowsTheWay to eternal bond of love of Lalu-Kejriwal pic.twitter.com/B3wBZXNr1Q— Gaurav Chopra (@TheGauravChopra) November 20, 2015
Arre!? What, are they supposed to beat each other up? ” @parmarmandip6 : @prena_ इसके जवाब मे और बोह्त फ़ोटो है सर pic.twitter.com/9nWnvUAe5b ”— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) November 20, 2015
Dadlani has a point. At a formal swearing in ceremony when Lalu reaches out to hug, Kejriwal couldn’t exactly jump off the stage.
But the disappointment with Kejriwal stems from the fact that the AAP party chief had promised a different brand of politics. One that wouldn’t compromise like the other parties.
So to find him on the same stage as Lalu Prasad Yadav, and standing alongside a number of chief ministers who are hoping to form an anti-BJP front in the coming days, he is understandably perceived to be deviating from his original promises. Much like what we associate with our politicians presently. Kejriwal has stood for a different brand of politics, and to dilute that image is one that doesn’t do him any good for the coming days.