Kejriwal’s Reaction to Jamia-JNU ‘Smacks of Opportunism’: Sibal

Kapil Sibal also said that the Congress will play a “significant” role in the upcoming elections in Delhi.

3 min read
File image of senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal.

Asserting that the uproar over the amended citizenship law and the Jamia-JNU violence will be a major factor in the Delhi Assembly polls, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's "subdued" response to the issues "smacks of opportunism.”

He also said the Congress will play a "significant" role in the polls and exuded confidence that the party could get enough seats to emerge as the "determining factor" in government formation.

"He (Kejriwal) did not show up in Jamia (Millia Islamia), he did not show up in JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University). His statements were not frequent enough, strong enough and open enough," Sibal told PTI in an interview.

He said Kejriwal's somewhat “subdued” response to what has been happening around has not sent the right kind of signals.

Asked if the massive uproar over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Population Register (NPR), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the violence on university campuses will be a major factor in the polls, Sibal replied in the affirmative.

“What has Kejriwal done? Kejriwal has not even visited the campuses, not even visited JNU, because this is politics. This is the problem when political parties take positions only for the purpose of an election, not for the purpose of what is right. People see through their acts,” the former Union minister said.

“Congress Will be A Significant Factor in Delhi Polls”

Sibal also alleged that the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was not talking much about CAA, NPR and NRC for the fear of losing a section of a vote bank that it "desperately needs".

He asserted that Kejriwal has to answer to the people for his response to CAA, NPR and NRC.

Asked if the Congress can form the government on its own, Sibal said, "I don't think that we should be making such tall claims, but at the same time I think we will be a significant factor in this election... maybe giving us enough seats to be the determining factor in the formation of the government."

On whether the Congress can join hands with the AAP if it turns out to be the "determining factor", he said, "Let us first get the results out in the open. What our strategy is will be known to everybody at that point in time."

Sibal also dismissed suggestions that the Congress' chances in the polls may be hampered by the absence of a popular and credible face, saying the credibility of a face has no relationship to the party's credibility in terms of its functioning on the ground.


Responding to a question about the Congress mounting a formidable challenge to the AAP, Sibal said his party does not have any seat in the Delhi Assembly, so the ruling party certainly has an advantage.

"I think they (AAP) claim more than what they have done on the ground. They have a fabulous media campaign. This is somewhat like our prime minister's media campaign which sort of tries to claim much more than what the reality is. I think the people know the reality. So let's see what happens," he said.


“BJP is on A Sticky Wicket”

The Congress leader claimed that the BJP is on a sticky wicket in the polls as it has "lost credibility".

He cited the examples of Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections, in which the poll pundits were proved wrong, to stress that a surprise could be in the offing in Delhi and his party could deliver a strong performance in the polls.

"I think the people of Delhi, as a member of Parliament and (someone) who has fought elections in Delhi I can say, have realised that it is the Congress party that has delivered in Delhi. There is no other party that has delivered in Delhi. As far as AAP is concerned, it has been in constant conflict with the Centre," Sibal said.

(Published in arrangement with PTI)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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