In an with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on ABP News on Tuesday, there was neither a mention of the vandalism at his residence by BJP workers nor the South Delhi Municipal Corporation mayor’s letter seeking a closure of meat shops amid the Navratri festival.
The telecast came a day after the SDMC mayor’s letter, which will shops in the national capital. It came nearly a week after BJP workers – protesting against what they alleged were his comments against Kashmiri Pandits – indulged in violence outside his house.
At the beginning of the interview, ABP anchor Sumit Awasthi asked Kejriwal if he knew the Hanuman Chalisa. In 2020, Kejriwal has recited the , and you could sense Awasthi basically wanting a repeat for his own channel. Kejriwal duly complied and proceeded to serenade viewers with the Hanuman aarti, while the screen said, “Hanuman ki bhakti, Kejriwal ki shakti” – faith in Hanuman is Kejriwal’s strength.
The conversation covered the recent assembly elections, the upcoming Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi MCD elections, the AAP in Punjab, its political agenda and even The Kashmir Files. However, what followed was ostensibly a lesson in diplomacy.
When Awasthi asked Kejriwal if he thought that Yogi Adityanath had won a second term as UP CM on the basis of religion, the Delhi CM’s response was, “I don't want to comment on that…We talk about the country. We don't want to criticise anyone.”
While speaking about Gujarat, Awasthi asked Kejriwal if the Modi model was a flop. The anchor was left disappointed with Kejriwal’s response which deflected all the blame. “I am not saying any model is a flop. I am not against any individual party,” he said.
Awasthi went on to ask Kejriwal about rising prices and inflation, and the AAP leader gave some insights on how his government has given free electricity, water supply and so on – the recent hike in fuel prices found a fleeting mention.
Asked about the fuel hike, Kejriwal said, “Whatever we could, we did…The centre should come forward on this.” This was Awasthi’s cue to quickly steer the conversation to politics in the south and ask Kejriwal about Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin’s recent visit to Delhi.
As the interview approached its end, Awasthi asked Kejriwal about The Kashmir Files, and why the movie was not tax-free in Delhi. “Nobody is raising the voice of Kashmiri Pandits...They are talking about making the picture tax-free,” said the AAP leader, adding that the BJP had done nothing for the community in the last 32 year and “failed” in Kashmir.
Awasthi wrapped up the interview with a rapid fire round where he asked Kejriwal about personalities such as Anna Hazare, Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. To the anchor’s disappointment, the AAP chief had no ill words for anyone.