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Delhi chief minister faces criticism after sit-in protest

The chief minister of Delhi has called off his sit-in protest on the streets of the Indian capital after two days of calling for widespread police reforms.

NEW DELHI: The chief minister of Delhi has called off his sit-in protest on the streets of the Indian capital after two days of calling for widespread police reforms.

He appears to have failed to achieve his demand, with his neo-liberal anarchist position and approach being strongly criticised.

Arvind Kejrwal is making no apologies about his controversial approach to politics, but his two-day long demonstration in cold weather in downtown Delhi has taken its toll, as the city's chief minister was admitted to hospital with a severe lung infection.

Mr Kejriwal called off his strike after the lieutenant governor promised to fast-track an inquiry against policemen targeted by Mr Kejriwal's party for alleged inaction on women's safety issues.

Kejriwal's supporters insist they are right in protesting against the Delhi police, which they accuse of refusing to crack down on drug and sex crime rampant in one area of the Indian capital.

One of the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) main election promises was to provide safety and security for the people of Delhi, especially women.

But since the Delhi police comes under the control of the federal government and not the provincial government, policemen do not necessarily take orders from the Delhi government.

Mr Kejriwal and his party are refusing to get co-opted into the system and have chosen to take a more radical approach. But for now, he has called off his demonstration so that traffic in downtown Delhi does not get adversely affected.

Up until a few weeks ago, Mr Kejriwal's AAP was on an upswing, but now the sheen is rapidly wearing off. There was a separate protest in Bangalore on Wednesday against alleged racist comments made by a prominent AAP member.

The AAP was trying to project itself as the voice of the downtrodden and the poor. The party is anxious to deliver on its promises soon, even if it means taking an unconventional and controversial approach.

But it could be the upcoming parliamentary elections that reflect whether the AAP has indeed disrupted the balance of Indian politics away from the elite and entrenched. 

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