"AAP as a political party can and must protest. Not the Chief Minister. He and his cabinet must govern from their office as there's a danger of being looked upon as a rabble-rouser which is against the spirit of the constitution and also could diminish the good will bestowed by people upon the party," he said.

He said AAP has captured the country's imagination and swept to power in Delhi on the plank of ridding corruption and on simple values and the ideals of humility, transparency and honesty.

But, he added, it is not enough to win elections without the backing of black money, muscle and caste power, and AAP should bring in administrative reforms and good governance, which they had promised.

"To rid the country of corruption we need systemic changes like Jan Lokpal, autonomy to CBI, electoral, judicial and administrative reforms," he said.

Gopinath said Kejriwal sitting on dharna demanding action against four junior police personnel is, according to many opinion leaders, the last straw that may break the camel's back when it comes to AAP mis-steps.

"Demanding suspension of police personnel is missing the woods for the trees, apart from the fact that you are making a scapegoat of hapless junior officers who are mere cogs in the wheel," he added.

He said the dharna should demand implementation of police reforms, already widely accepted as the first step to remove corruption and end the nexus between politicians, police and criminals.

Asking Delhi Police to be under the Chief Minister is as bad as keeping its allegiance to the Home Minister, Gopinath said, the police force must enforce the law fairly and fearlessly. "For that, they must be made independent and accountable as per the recommendations of police reforms."

The series of missteps and a 'reckless' law minister rushing headlong into becoming a cop himself has left admirers a bit worried, Gopinath said. "The party is running the risk of losing its image as being Luddite or anti-development and pro-communist," he added.

"It also runs the risk of losing the support of the educated middle class and the 'yuppie brigade' who catapulted it to power," Gopinath said.

(Agencies)

Latest News from India News Desk