AAP BEGAN WITH RIGHT CREDENTIALS BUT WRONG INTENTIONS

Today once again confirmed that the Aam Aadmi Party will never learn its lessons and if its fall from grace continues at the same rate, it is going to be doomed soon.

The party has, literally, become a laughing stock. Instead of inspecting (and introspecting) on why it is losing polls (and losing humiliatingly), the party is busy in playing a game of political mudslinging.

And when it happened in Delhi, where it had registered two unexpected and stupendous victories in two years but lost its constituency by its second year in the office, when it saw a humiliating loss in the Delhi local polls last months, the message was clear and bold.

Shape in our shape out. Perform or perish. You have been given more than enough benefit of doubt. Now there is no time left.

But the drama that the whole party enacted in the Delhi assembly today, on once again blaming the EVMs for their electoral failures and therefore blaming the BJP led central government and the Election Commission of India, once again reinforced the feeling that the party is going to bust in the days ahead.

Because, it has its origins in people’s expectations, in hopes of the crushed classes and masses and in silent but desperate cries of the millions of commoners who are blamed to live a cursed life in a society that is still learning how to treats its basic unit – those commoners only.

When the AAP formed a political outfit some five years ago, it was then a logical extension of the anti-corruption movement that had given this bunch of people credibility.

When it first faltered in February 2014, leaving Delhi, that had shown its trust on the party by giving it a stunning debut, to score bigger victories the 2014 parliamentary polls, it was still seen as an experimental streak of activists who were doing some soul searching on the political turf to get accustomed to its bylanes.

When the party registered even bigger a victory, that was almost absolute, in February 2015, in Delhi, it showed Delhi still saw its diversions as experimental aberrations.

But the fall from grace had started much earlier. The second term of the AAP has only removed those doubts that gave the AAP benefit of doubt.

In just five years, the AAP has become anti-thesis to everything it promised to stand for.

The first, and in fact, the only question, the question of life and death, that was and that is for the AAP, is whether it could walk the extremely fragile ground of expectations – where it had to fight against its internal and external elements who erred even slightly – because such journeys begin from home only.

And five years down the line, it is now an unquestioned fact that the AAP began with right credentials but with wrong intentions.

Had it not been so, it would not have converted so soon into a one-man party.

Had it not been so, it would not have thought of moving out of Delhi so soon, when it had no party base and structure in other states, before it could prove itself in Delhi, a must to say thanks to Delhi for reposing its faith in the party, in spite of its act of betrayal.

Had it not been so, it would not have tolerated even a single case of political impropriety and corruption, something that the party is plagued with now.

Had it not been so, it would never have accepted deserters and controversial persons from other parties, like it did in hordes.

Had it not been so, Kejriwal himself would have resigned or offered to resigns than seeing the likes Kiran Bedi, Shazia Ilmi, Prashant Bhushan, Mayank Gandhi, Captain Gopinath and many more leaving the party.

Had it not been so, it would not have become elitist and so VIP that it never cares for the people in real need even if you make desperate cries for help.

Had it not been so, Arvind Kejriwal would have resigned much earlier taking responsibility over the allegations of political impropriety, elitism, nepotism and corruption in the party, and it, in fact, would have raised his credibility.

The party never sounded like it is reshaping and reinventing itself. It never looks life performing. It looks like a bunch of people who are always ready to engage in vocal fights, even on the slightest pretext and with utter disregard for the norms of civilized debates.

To sum up, they have become totally what they came to change. They have become so routine now that they look like just another political party. And when they are just another political party with no base and significant membership even in its birthplace, why would people care for it, why would people elect them?

This is the question that should haunt them. This is the question that should give them humility now. This is the question that should be at the core of their introspection. The scores of political and electoral losses should guide them. But today’s drama in the Delhi assembly tells us that they have become so self-obsessed that they are not seeing their imminent fate ahead.

©SantoshChaubey

TYPE OF CONTROVERSIES SHOW AAP’S EVOLUTION

AAP’s brush with controversies can be seen in the allegations put over the party, and they in turn, tell how the party is evolving (or devolving with time).

During its foundation years, the party was basically embroiled in ideological and financial controversies.

The ideological rifts made many activist brethren of India Against Corruption, the umbrella outfit to organize the 2011 anti-corruption movement, to walk away from the group of Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. Many like Captain Gopinath or Anjali Damania or Mayank Gandhi left the party on ideological plank only. Some other like Kiran Bedi or Shazia Ilmi who were there together in the movement chose to migrate to different political ideologies.

Along with these ideological contradictions, the allegations of financial impropriety had a continued run – basically about financial mismanagement and laundering of IAC funds and about AAP’s sources of political funding.

With the formation of the first AAP government in Delhi, the party saw the minor controversies like Rakhi Bidlan antics but there were effectively taken care of by AAP’s populist anti-VIP measures.

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

AAP’S ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’ FOR CORRUPTION SOUNDING HOLLOW!

Delhi’s Social Justice and Women and Child Development minister Sandeep Kumar is the second senior Aam Aadmi Party leader the party has purged in the recent days after the party’s Punjab chief Sucha Singh Chottepur.

Chhotepur was removed as AAP’s Punjab convener after a video clip surfaced showing him accepting money for allotting tickets. Sandeep Kumar was sacked after a CD surfaced allegedly showing him in compromising position with a woman.

On their parts, both have tried to play the victim card. Chhotepur has said he will not leave AAP on his own as the purported clip is a conspiracy to defame him. Sandeep Kumar has said that he is not in the clip and he is being targeted because he is Dalit.

Well, whatever be the truth, something that will only come out after a thorough probe. The important thing is the message that such acts convey – that AAP is losing fast on its ‘zero tolerance’ for corruption promise.

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

AAP: FROM 2012 TO 2016

There is no doubt that the Aam Aadmi Party has seen a meteoric rise in its electoral and political stature in India in a very short span of time. The party had its formal inauguration in November 2012. That makes it even less than four year old.

The AAP owes its genesis to Anna Hazare lead anti-corruption movement of 2011 that was hugely successful. It has galvanized people from the cross sections of society, spread across the nation, especially its urban centres.

There were differences and many activists of the ‘India Against Corruption’ combine that had spearheaded the movement, chose to dissociate from the decision to form a political outfit. Even Anna Hazare was not sure and was non-committal. His approval came very late.

But people saw a point here – in voices of those activists who were of the opinion that a political extension was the next logical step to cleanse the political system. Between May 2011, when the anti-corruption movement was at peak, and November 2012, when the AAP was formally launched, the existing political system had effectively worked to blunt the edge of the movement which was seeing a clear roadblock ahead.

There was no surety on when India would see a massive mobilization next. It could again have been a long round based on apolitical principles of civic society movements before people would feel motivated enough to come to a platform to raise their voice against the existing system. It was added by the inherent flaws in ‘India Against Corruption’ itself. Its activists had started speaking in different voices sending confusing signals to supporters as well as to people who felt proud in taking a principled stand for the movement.

So, there was nothing wrong if some activists thought to fast-track the process of cleaning the system – by adopting political means to fight the existing system – by going political to take on the politicians who had become too routine for voters.

And it was quite an impressive victory.

After its inception in 2012, almost a year after, in December 2013, it emerged as the second largest party in the Delhi assembly polls and went on to form the government with Congress’ support. The government could survive only for 49 days before Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP’s chief architect and Delhi’s chief minister, pulled the plug, shielding behind his Jan Lokpal Bill, that the Congress led central government then had refused to allow.

People went by it since Jan Lokpal was the demand around which the 2011 anti-corruption movement was weaved. But the alternate view was always there that buoyed by his prospects, Arvind Kejriwal thought to exploit his chances on a larger national canvas by going big in the 2014 General Elections. His party fought it nationally but it proved to be an extremely bad miscalculation. His party had a humiliating defeat with record number for forfeitures.

But 2014-15 again proved to a momentous year. Arvind Kejriwal successfully campaigned in 2014, making Delhiites believe that he had not deserted during his first term. His apology act worked and worked miraculously, giving his party an absolute majority of 67 seats in the 70 member Delhi assembly in the February 2015 polls.

But that is the midpoint where the AAP’s fall from grace starts.

Emboldened by the absolute majority, the party decided to shed some of it so common man style tags by comfortably accepting bungalows and big sized official vehicles. During the first tenure, the party had made a big issue of it, asking for flats and simple cars. People thought it was an exercise aimed at concentrating efforts to do some real good ground level politics like checking corruption, making roads better, making Delhi’s power supply round the clock, streamlining its public transportation system and working on Delhi safer for its people.

But when a wave of routine political acts started that were clearly anti-common man, the alternate view, that Kejriwal had deserted Delhi in February 2014 for selfish political motives and that he had just used the 2011 anti-corruption movement to further his political interests, started getting upper hand – and since then it has seen a flurry of developments that put AAP in clear dock.
Its Delhi government sent a proposal for massive salary increase in Delhi’s legislators. It appointed several AAP leaders on positions that were paid from the fund that could have been used for the larger public good. The case where it appointed 21 AAP leaders parliamentary secretaries , fully paid from the public fund, is being heard by the Election Commission of India for violating norms. Delhi had 7 ministers. One was jailed for faking his degrees and educational qualification. One was jailed for accepting bribe. One was jailed for involvement in a sex scandal. Several other MLAs have been embroiled in this or that controversy that a conscious voter would certainly detest. Clearly, there is a difference between hooliganism and anarchy and the acts of the AAP MLAs clearly fall in hooliganism category. Transport Minister Gopal Rai had to resign because of corruption allegations.

Then there are other controversies like the AAP turning into Arvind Kejriwal’s personal fiefdom. Every voice that speaks against Kejriwal, is either expelled from the party, like we saw in case of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, two AAP’s founding members, or is crushed and silenced, like we saw in case of Dharamvira Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa, two AAP MPs from Punjab, who have literally been shunted out for speaking against Kejriwal.

And as the party is looking a political spread beyond Delhi, especially in Punjab and Goa, it is dealing with controversies from those places as well because it has sought an organic route to grow in these two states, hijacking leaders and workers from other parties. Many AAP Punjab leaders, who were earlier in other parties, are facing corruption allegations. The party that had made system cleansing its founding principle had to sack its Punjab chief for taking cash for allotting tickets. Then there are allegations of sex scandals from Punjab involving AAP leaders which are doing rounds. And even in Delhi, Sandeep Kumar, the Women and Child Welfare minister, was not the first one facing allegations of criminal acts against women. Another MLA Amanatullah was arrested on allegations of threatening and eve-teasing by a woman. Another Delhi lawmaker and former minister, Somnath Bharti, was sent to jail in a domestic violence case.

Delhi is 18 months old for the AAP and it government is deeply entrenched in controversies associated with the party. Punjab’s battle has got in full throttle and is throwing its share of muck in the cauldron. Let’s see what Goa has to offer as its electoral battle hots up.

©SantoshChaubey

SACKING SANDEEP KUMAR WAS A POLITICAL NECESSITY FOR AAP

The article originally appeared on DailyO.

After Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is eyeing Punjab and Goa, the two states where polls are slated within the next six months. The party would want to approach the voters of these two states with the image that gave it a resounding victory in the February 2015 Delhi Assembly polls, in which it won 67 out of the 70 seats.

At that time, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party could successfully present itself as a viable alternative to the BJP and Congress, the two main political parties of Delhi before the advent of the AAP – a party rooted in an anti-corruption movement, with claims that it is a humble party of the common people and for the common people.

But the first 18 months since February 2015, when the second AAP government in Delhi was sworn in, have seen a flurry of controversies.

Its MLAs and ministers have been accused of impropriety, immorality and corruption. Now no one in the AAP talks of making sting videos of corrupt officials. Kejriwal and his party leaders have stopped harping on their anti-VIP stance.

They have comfortably settled down in the lavish bungalows allotted to them while during the first term of the AAP government in 2013-’14, it was a big issue and Kejriwal had refused to accept a bungalow as his official residence. The AAP leaders and ministers have been alleged of having fake degrees, of taking bribes and high-handedness in public life.

So much for the AAP going to the Punjab and Goa voters with a clean image.

Punjab has seen successive governments of the Congress and the BJP-SAD combine. The state has politicians with serious corruption and criminal charges against them. Corruption and political patronage of the drug menace in the state are the major election issues this time around.

Goa has the same story – state governments alternating between the Congress and the BJP. Goa, too, has politicians and ministers with serious criminal and corruption charges against them. Corruption and drug abuse are major electoral issues here too.

The AAP sees a chance in both these states. It would stand to gain if it could make the people of these states believe that it is a viable alternative to the Congress and BJP as it did in Delhi.

And so, the party will look to effect a course correction. The party has a strong position on corruption and impropriety and the recent purges should be seen in this context.

Delhi’s social justice and women and child development minister Sandeep Kumar is the second senior AAP leader the party has purged in the recent days after the party’s Punjab chief Sucha Singh Chhotepur. Chhotepur was removed as the AAP’s Punjab convener last week after a video clip surfaced showing him accepting money for allotting tickets.

Kumar was sacked on August 31 after a CD surfaced allegedly showing him in compromising position with a woman.

Both Chhotepur and Kumar have tried to play the victim card. Chhotepur said he would not leave the AAP on his own as the clip was a conspiracy to defame him. Kumar said he was not in the clip and he was being targeted because he was a Dalit.

Truth will only come out after a thorough probe but Kejriwal has taken a hard line, saying that Kumar has betrayed “the AAP movement”. This is how the Delhi CM reacted on Twitter after he came to know of the allegations against Kumar:

KejriwalSandeepKumarTweet

The important thing is the message such acts by the party chief convey – messages that the AAP would like to drive home, something that the party tries to do after every such incident, as it did after the sacking another cabinet minister of Delhi, Asim Ahmed Khan, on corruption allegations in October 2015. That message is: the AAP follows zero intolerance to corruption as a founding policy and dares others to do so.

Our political culture has been that parties seldom act on corruption allegations on their leaders, even if several court cases are lodged against them. People facing allegations of corruption, rape and murder are made ministers. A conscious voter never likes it, whether he is from the lower stratum of the society or from the elite class. The same consciousness of the voters handed the AAP its massive victory in Delhi.

The AAP is trying to send the same message to the voters in Punjab and Goa as well because the party knows the advantage that it has – the controversies associated with it in Delhi can easily be played down when seen in comparison with controversies associated with the Congress and BJP leaders in Goa, and the Congress and SAD-BJP leaders in Punjab.

©SantoshChaubey

AAP LEADERS ARRESTED, BJP MEMBERS LET OFF FOR SIMILAR OFFENCES IS LOPSIDED JUSTICE

The article originally appeared on DailyO.

Some Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs are in jail. Some are out on bail. Some are in the imminent threat of being put behind bars.

If the law is catching up with them, it means they would have committed some criminal activities.

Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold. So the law is bound to catch up with them, or in fact everyone who is found on the wrong side of it, irrespective of affiliations and influences.

But is it so black and white?

We all know it isn’t so. We know our legal system has taken different reincarnations based on affiliation and patronage and its most brazen consequences are seen in our policing and criminal investigation systems.

That is why our premier investigation agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has been called a “caged parrot” by the Supreme Court.

That is why the courts don’t believe in the testimony recorded before the police and prefer the one delivered in the courtroom. That is why terms like “police reforms” or “CBI independence” have become so debatable that we don’t know if they will have logical conclusions at all.
The hunger for power and the penchant to stick to that power make our policing and criminal investigation systems mere pawns in the hands of those who form the government.

These pawns are used at will – to promote one’s interests, or to settle scores, or to rein in elements that make noise or pose threats. Yes, some form of honest policing is still there but it is limited to policing the common man where no one is interested to intervene.

The trouble that the AAP leaders are in is a case in point.

Some AAP MLAs like Mahendra Yadav and Akhilesh Tripathi were arrested on charges including rioting and preventing public servants from discharging duties.

BJP’s Faggan Singh Kulaste, who has been made a Union minister in the latest Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has also been accused of rioting, armed with deadly weapons, wrongful restraint and many others (including charges related to obscene acts), an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) finds. The ADR analysis is based on his latest self-sworn affidavit.

Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das who belongs to the BJP is also accused of preventing public servants from discharging duties and wrongful restraint. The ADR analysis of his self-sworn affidavit shows a total of eight cases registered against him including under two sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that deal with serious offences.

AAP MLA Manoj Kumar was arrested in a land grabbing case and was later released on bail. He was slapped with sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC.

BJP’s Naba Kumar Doley, who is the panchayat and rural development minister of Assam, has allegations under three IPC sections that deal with serious offences against him, the ADR analysis says. Charges against him include “making a false document (IPC section 464)”, “charge related to forgery (IPC section 463)”, “charges related to giving and fabricating false evidence (IPC sections 191, 192, 193) and so on.

Haryana’s animal husbandry minister Om Prakash Dhankar has declared in his affidavit that he is facing charges under section 147 (charges related to rioting) and section 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC among others.

Former minister in the Maharashtra Cabinet, Eknath Khadse of the BJP, who was forced to resign in the Dawood Ibrahim call case and was later given a clean chit, had declared charges under IPC sections dealing with serious offences like section 354 (charge related to assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty) among others in his self-sworn affidavit.

AAP Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan was recently arrested under the IPC sections 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman). Later, section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the IPC was also added. The judge, while releasing Khan on bail, said that keeping him in jail would not serve any purpose and that Khan was not needed for investigation.

Former Union minister of state of panchayati raj, Nihal Chand Meghwal, who is a BJP MP from Rajasthan and who was dropped in the latest round of Cabinet reshuffle, is accused in a rape case. Though Meghwal was given a clean chit earlier and the courts refused to entertain the woman’s plea, later the same was admitted and is being heard by an ADJ court.

They all are free men, in spite of the serious charges against them. And they are just few names from a long list spread across parties and states in the federation of India.

So it is still basically about which side of the law you are but with a distorted paradigm to it – whether you are in power or you are in Opposition.

If you are from the establishment or from the party in power, you are clearly treated above the law. On the contrary, if you are from the Opposition benches and in the cross hairs of the ruling party, you are likely to be made an example by the law enforcement agencies – of their swiftness and efficiency.

©SantoshChaubey

AAP’S CHEAP POLITICS IS EARNING IT A BAD NAME

This articles originally appeared on DailyO.

The Aam Aadmi Party is becoming a “shoot and scoot” party with notable “misses” to its credit.

The latest in this “shoot and scoot” tradition of the AAP’s politics is the volley of allegations being levelled against BJP MP Maheish Girri.

The AAP alleges that Girri, an MP from East Delhi, is behind the murder of MM Khan, an NDMC lawyer and estate officer who was shot dead on May 16.

The AAP alleges that Khan was killed because he was to pass a final order on the licence fee issue of the Connaught Hotel, taken on lease from the NDMC by Ramesh Kakkar of the Prominent Hotels Ltd, the prime accused in the case.

Kakkar was miffed with Khan’s inquiry and had written to Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung against him. The AAP also alleges the NDMC vice-chairman and BJP leader Karan Singh Tanwar of complicity in the case. Incidentally, Tanwar had also written to Jung against Khan.

But unlike most other “shoot and scoot” allegations of the AAP, this time it is about a murder case. A life has been lost and more lives will be at stake as the investigation progresses. So anybody making allegations should come with solid evidence.

Instead, the AAP is busy holding press conferences, issuing statements and bombarding social media platforms with its “arrest and probe Maheish Girri in MM Khan murder case” rant. This is when the Delhi Police has given clean chits to Girri and Tanwar in the case.

Since Sunday (June 19), Girri has been sitting on a fast outside the house of Arvind Kejriwal demanding proof for the Delhi chief minister’s allegations. Girri says if Kejriwal cannot present evidence corroborating his allegations, then he should should resign. He had earlier invited Kejriwal for an open debate on the issue but Kejriwal didn’t respond.

Instead, the AAP has decided to take on all who are questioning its wild allegations. Kejriwal, while charging the Modi government, reiterated his demand of Girri’s arrest in the case. Ashutosh, Dilip Pandey and other AAP spokespersons and leaders were seen escalating the war of words with the BJP after Kejriwal’s remarks.

We all know now that the party has always used “hit and run” as its strategy to score political mileage, without considering values of political probity (and propriety) and without thinking of consequences.

We can say that this strategy has in fact served the AAP’s style of politics, because so far the party has had a dream run in Indian politics. It won the Delhi Assembly polls with absolute domination, winning 67 out of the 70 seats – forming its second government in Delhi in two years. It is being seen as the main challenger in the upcoming Punjab Assembly polls next year. And all this in a span of a few years. The AAP came into existence in 2012 and made its electoral debut in the Delhi Assembly elections in 2013.

It seems the party hopes to corner everybody with allegations of corruption.

Like it has done in the case of Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and many others.

Jaitley’s case pertains to the “massive” corruption allegations in the DDCA (Delhi and District Cricket Association). Jaitley was the DDCA president from 1999 to 2013 and AAP, Congress, former cricketer and BJP MP Kirti Azad, another former cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi, and many others had alleged that “DDCA had become a den of corruption while Jaitley was the topmost functionary of the body”.

Jaitley has denied any role and has filed a defamation suit in the matter and the case is in the court. And to complicate the matter further, the AAP didn’t seem to have done its groundwork. Instead, it had taken help of documents on the DDCA scam that were already in the public domain.

Then there are other instances of the AAP’s “hit and run” strategy.

For instance, its allegations of the media being biased against the AAP and being pro-Narendra Modi. Based on its convenience, the AAP has time and again alleged media outlets of targeting it by taking money from other political outfits – only to do blatant U-turns later.

The farmer suicide episode during the AAP’s “Jantar Mantar” rally was again a slap in the face of the party. The AAP blamed the Delhi Police for “not acting in time” to prevent suicide of the farmer, Gajendra Singh, but later on Kejriwal apologised for continuing with his speech even after the farmer had died.

The list is long – the AAP’s allegations on Robert Vadra, Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra’s irrigation scam, the allegations against corporate houses, on Modi’s government in Gujarat and so on. Kejriwal had to go to jail following a defamation case filed by Gadkari. Then there was another defamation case filed by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri. In an interview, Kejriwal had said Bidhuri was a criminal.

The party has earned the notoriety of oversimplifying matters for political mileage, levelling wild allegations, never bothering to go deeper to dig facts and never bothering to go in the courts to get them proved.

But what once happened to be a strategic asset for the party is now falling flat. It seems the party is trying to score goals in every possible political development – with empty rhetoric, forgotten promises, forgotten values, unilateralism, authoritarianism and routine political sham.

And it all has reduced the most promising political entrant in India’s recent political history into a party that is self-obsessed and is not realising that such spectacles by it are now seen as scoring self goals only.

©SantoshChaubey

A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY AGAIN TO PLAY THEIR VICTIM CARD!

That was again in the air. What looked on air – looked like a genuine case – a disgruntled person approached Arvind Kejriwal – during one of his trademark self-obsessed events – this time to say thanks to Delhiites for the ‘odd-even’ scheme – to express her displeasure.

Okay, we may disagree by the way the lady chose to express her displeasure – by throwing ink and some pieces of paper (and a CD) – but we will certainly disagree with what followed – with the lady – and in general – especially with histrionics of the Aam Aadmi Party leaders.

As soon as the news broke, it became ‘the’ most important news of the ‘nation’ – as expected – and as expected – the AAP machinery went into overdrive – to squeeze in the maximum political mileage – to play the victim card – to get in the war of words that is getting so ugly with each passing day.

As soon as the news flashed – as soon as its images started getting viral – the AAP propaganda – yes, now we should say them a well oiled propaganda machinery – took to social media and media in full overdrive (with as much throttle speed as possible) – inhabiting nooks and corners of media and social media spaces – with their victim card – with their ‘good samaritan’ card.

In their trademark way – that has started making us cringe now – something that AAP totally disregards.

So, as soon as the news broke, everyone in AAP started shooting (and shouting at the top of their voices) that it was a political conspiracy – and plans to kill Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders were in making.

The party took no time in coming directly to its point – in getting direct confrontation with BJP and with the Delhi Police. In fact, the party looked desperate to catch political prospects from this ‘windfall development’ as the Punjab assembly polls are around the corner where the party is betting big.

And it was ironical!

Making a fuss around this issue by a party that owes its origin to the ‘common man’ – sending a common woman to jail – is condemnable. A disgruntled auto-rickshaw driver had slapped Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal forgave him and reached out to meet him – though he made a big public spectacle of it. But then, Kejriwal is not chief minister then.

He is chief minister now – and with a solid mandate – 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly. And after taking Delhi’s CM office second time in February 2015, he has shed all his inhibitions – including his ‘common man’ branding. Now, AAP is like any other party.

And like any other leader of any other political party, the Delhi CM did not show largesse this time. No one in AAP is talking about her now. Kejriwal did not go to meet her today.

Instead, its ministers, leaders and spokespersons are busy since yesterday in milking this incident to settle score with the Delhi Police, to target BJP and to show how everyone else is behind life (and times) of Arvind Kejriwal and AAP.

It all looks so gaudy – so funny now. And it will certainly reflect in electoral politics. The party that borrows its name from the ‘common man’ could have logically chosen to downplay the incident – with a genuine clemency for the lady.

But we all knew what was coming.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AAP: THE PARTY OF SELF-GOALS

Ironic but it is true – as clearly written as the fact that the Aam Aadmi Party government is all ‘clear’ to remain in office in Delhi till February 2020.

Though its implications are as vague as the availability of political alternatives during any political election event in India!

After 10 months in the political office, it is now well established that AAP is a ‘hit and run’ or ‘shoot and scoot’ party with only ‘misses’ to its credit – a confirmation to something that was so far considered experimental inexperience or acceptable lapse of an honest intent.

That is gone now. The AAP government in Delhi in its second tenure has overrode and overwritten any and every positive in this regard.

We all now know, and know for good, that the party has always used this ‘hit and run’ as its strategy to score self-goals, to score political mileage, without considering values of political probity (and propriety) and without thinking about what will happen to the ‘cause of the politics of change’ – because they have failed miserably in proving their ‘grand allegations and charges on others’ so far – compounded with their rapid decline on ‘universal parameters of the politics of ethics’.

They will be hoping to hit the bull’s-eye and open their account, at least now, with verbal volleys and press conferences (with borrowed documents) in their trade-mark (and jaded) ways to level allegations of corruption against Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister. The matter pertains to ‘massive’ corruption allegations in DDCA (Delhi & District Cricket Association). Arun Jatley was DDCA president from 1999 to 2013 and AAP, Congress, Kirti Azad, former cricketer and BJP MP, Bishen Singh Bedi, former cricketer and many others have alleged that ‘DDCA had become a ‘den of corruption’ while Jaitley was the topmost functionary of the body’.

Well, the truth, if at all has to come out, will come with time and for now, it is indeed a grey area with loads of questions (and qualified suspicion) on AAP’s intentions that it is trying to defend Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary and is thus trying to deflect the course of intense debate around the issue. And to complicate the matter further, AAP doesn’t seem to have done its groundwork. Instead, it has taken help of documents on the DDCA scam that are already in the public domain while its response on allegations on Kejriwal’s PS has been nothing but a bunch of blatant ‘we are right, come what may’ statements.

Especially in the context of AAP’s long history of ‘hit and run’ allegations!

Like they always do with media outfits – their AAP bias and support for Narendra Modi. Based on its convenience and coverage on it, AAP has time and again alleged media outlets of targeting AAP by taking money from other political outfits – only to do blatant U-turns later.

The farmer suicide episode during AAP’s ‘Jantar Mantar’ rally is again a slap in the face of the party. AAP blamed the Delhi Police for ‘not acting in time to prevent suicide of the farmer, Gajendra Singh, but later on Arvind Kejriwal apologised for continuing with his speech even after Gajendra Singh had died.

Then there are ‘AAP allegations on Robert Vadra, Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra’s irrigation scam, his allegations against corporate houses and corporate scams, his allegations on Narendra Modi’s government in Gujarat and so on.

And mind you (anyway, most already know) that the party has earned a ‘logical notoriety’ of oversimplifying matters for political mileage, levelling allegations while on the go, never bothering to go deeper to dig facts and never bothering to go in the courts to get them proved.

But what once happened to be a strategic asset for the party with goals to achieve – to speak ferociously and consistently while pushing forward allegations of corruption in a matter – now looks like the party is ‘sounding phoney and is shouting over the top’ – and is trying to score political goals in every possible political development – with empty rhetoric, forgotten promises, forgotten values, unilateralism, authoritarianism and routine political sham – a rapid decline.

And it all has reduced the most promising political entrant in India’s recent political history into a party that is self-obsessed and is not realizing that such spectacles by it are now seen as scoring self-goals only.

Self-goals that are ultimately going to be its nemesis!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AAP: THE RAPID DECLINE

It has become quite an expected spectacle – recurring regularly – and every next time, it sounds more phoney than its previous role-play – entire gamut of AAP leaders (Aam Aadmi Party) coming in a huddle whenever there is any political or (administrative development) that goes against them or whenever anyone from AAP, including Arvind Kejriwal, is targeted – and launching a coordinated verbal tirade in full force against whosoever they feel is coming in their way.

In their way – now that may be interpreted in varied ways – and in the prevailing political circumstances – everyone, irrespective of the side of the controversy he or she is – feels that he or she is entitled to have his or her own way – and that the way he or she reacts is right and politically correct.

But what is interesting and (morally demotivating) in the case of AAP is that it is a party that had claimed skies on corruption while canvassing for votes but has done everything that is a sheer antithesis to that and that will ultimately prove its nemesis.

AAP must not forget that its rapid, miraculous political rise may well see a rapid decline if it keeps on betraying the stakeholders who voted for it – the common men.

And the party faces this clear and present danger – now in most clear and unequivocal terms.

AAP has presented before its voters a face that is largely elitist – making mockery of the values that it claimed enshrined its organizational constitution and even the name (Aam Aadmi Party – the party of the common men).

And the people Arvind Kejriwal and his party have defended vehemently, including his tainted former law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, have proved him wrong, time and again.

The party that had begged for another chance in Delhi and the party that had begged another chance in the name of the ‘common man’, has openly (and shamelessly) embraced a VIP culture that includes many hostile, ‘un-common-manesque’ incidents including the recent move of hiking MLA salary by 400% and the now ‘famous flip-flop on the Jan Lokpal Bill’.

When Delhi’s voters had given AAP another chance after its act of betrayal in February 2014 when Arvind Kejriwal had deserted Delhi to milk his prime-ministerial ambitions in Varanasi, what was on their mind was a regime and its governance based on concerns for ordinary folks in the street – and not what were the routine political promises.

In a sense, the unique strength that AAP had was its ‘inexperience’ in the political office and in the ‘political culture’.

But after AAP was given another chance by the electorate in Delhi in February 2015, we came to know the AAP members were inexperienced not in just ‘political culture and political office’, but they also lacked the conviction to ‘engage in constructive politics’.

And their ‘unwillingness’ to engage in ‘constructive politics and meaningful governance’ to gain the experience that will be ‘morally, socially and politically correct’ is proving a nightmare now.

Since their second inauguration in the national capital, AAP has been in news for wrong reasons mostly. The party has preferred to engage in confrontational politics with the Union Government, and buoyed by the experience of playing the ‘victim card’ in the assembly polls, it has decided to present itself as ‘facing brunt of its political opponents’ and as the sole champion of the ’cause of the common man’ in Indian politics.

But the party has consistently failed to go beyond mere rhetoric and words. The party, so far, has shown a shameless penchant in ‘not transforming’ its words (promises) into action. And as the time is passing, people are seeing through this charade.

After all, if they can show door to BJP in just nine months (through the Union Government rule in Delhi by its representative, the Lieutenant-Governor), why can’t they do the same with AAP? Yes, it is true that AAP is safely home, in Delhi assembly, for five years, but that cannot prevent people from making opinion against it.

The sad thing is, the party is not realizing it – and is thus increasingly getting irrelevant to the ’cause of the politics of change’ India desperately needs.

Instead, they are busy in playing dirty politics – using abusive words like ‘coward and psychopath for the elected prime minister of India’ – and making such a language synonymous with their political culture – using abusive and confrontational language in their day to day politics. With all merits, we can safely say that AAP spokespersons sound most sceptical and senseless in any ongoing political debate these days – ever since the party got another chance in Delhi.

And at times, when they are caught red handed and on the other side of the law, like it happened in Jitender Tomar case or in today’s case of raid against the Principal Secretary of Arvind Kerjriwal, their ‘we are right, come what may’ attitude deteriorates into a panic response that doesn’t consider anything and just spews and spews verbal volleys of distracted and misplaced opinions (or rants to be precise).

By their acts so far, they are proving the Delhi electorate wrong.

Well, this is certainly not political anarchy, the way political anarchy is known as!

AK-Twitter-Dec152015

Featured Image Courtesy: Arvind Kejriwal’s Twitter page

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/