DELHI LAW MINISTER ARRESTED: IN BAD TASTE, EVEN IF IT DIDN’T SURPRISE US

Well, it was really in bad taste, even if it didn’t surprise us.

Now, it doesn’t hurt anymore that the Aam Aadmi Party has deviated to the extent that we don’t find any semblance to the party that people had shown faith in to deliver the needed political change.

Instead of bringing the change, the AAP has changed completely. Not going ethical and compromising on people’s pasts have become very much the character of the AAP in this short duration of its second tenure – since February 14, 2015 – when Arvind Kejriwal took the oath of office again.

But, even by the present standards, the arrest of Delhi’s law minister Jitender Singh Tomar looked more like a drama than a genuine legal development and each unravelling development kept us hooked throughout the day.

He claims his graduation and law degrees are genuine while the controversy surrounding it says there are fake and the resultant matter is sub-judice. The Delhi Bar Council has cancelled his registration finding his graduation degree fake after enquiry and filed a complaint on it.

The Delhi Police claims Tomar’s arrest has not been done in a hurry and the step has followed the norms laid by the Supreme Court.

Well, whatever be the truth of his degrees, if there was a controversy, he should not have been made a minister till he cleared the row. Politics of ethics and anti-corruption stand that the AAP claimed to be the motivating points did not permit that.

Okay, let’s accept that he was made a minister in the run of political experiments and therefore deserved the benefit of doubt. But then he should have been asked to resign from his ministerial chair the day the matter was cropped up in a big way by the AAP’s political opponents.

Delhi’s law minister Jitender Singh Tomar is facing serious allegations of subverting law. He is facing criminal cases of cheating and forgery. The political constituency of honesty that the AAP claimed to be his forte demanded immediate resignation of Tomar. He should have resigned the day the reports surfaced that the institutions from where he claimed to get degrees denied his claims.

He didn’t do it. The AAP didn’t do it. And Arvind Kejriwal chose to defend his minister.

He decided to slug it out in courts and in public to get the political mileage, like he tries to do in every case these days. That was in line with a changed AAP – behaving like any other outfit.

The AAP was playing a politically pragmatic game, as is the political norm, that it does in every case these days, to score political mileage, to play the victim card, to gain the sympathy factor, before the Punjab assembly polls. Yes, a senior AAP leader mentioned Punjab in his retaliatory remarks. Like has become the trademark of the AAP, his leaders, once again, issued irresponsible and anarchist statements today.

Anarchy is always politically relevant in every society, but not in this way, not the way the AAP thinks.

And like the AAP, its political opponents, including the BJP, too are playing the ‘pragmatic’ political games to further the political interest.

Yes, but the drama that surrounded detention and arrest of Tomar should have been avoided. There was no need to hastily arrest him when he was cooperating and the case was pending in the High Court where the next date of hearing is in August. Yes, what unfolded today looked ‘farcical’ as the Delhi court observed.

But, then who cares for these things these days in the course of furthering political interests.

What happened today in Delhi have been linked to the ongoing L-G Vs CM row in Delhi and that is quite natural. The Lieutenant-Governor appointed a Joint Commissioner of Police to head the Delhi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which the AAP government rejected. To further the L-G Vs CM political tug-of war, the secretary issuing the appointment order on the L-G’s order was removed. Obviously, the L-G had to reject and he rejected it.

Kejriwal is completing four months in office but his government has failed to do anything concrete for Delhi. Yes, there are electricity and water tariffs to talk about but these are far from enough. We don’t see any roadmap from the AAP but a confrontational attitude – within the party – and outside it. Senior AAP leaders are fighting and ‘shouting on political opponents’.

If this trend, that is in the self-destruct mode, continues, the AAP is bound to fail even in Delhi. After all, we are yet to see something politically constructive from the AAP. There is no trace of consolidating gains when it should have been the priority.

Arvind Kejriwal has not reconciled with the fact that Delhi is a half-state, or probably doesn’t want to. Delhi is also the national capital of the country. It has to be run in consultation with the Centre.

The L-G may or may not feel the heat of the ACB opening case of an old scam, but the AAP is certainly feeling the heat at the moment. And almost of it is its own doing.

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

WORRYING SIGNALS MR. KEJRIWAL, YOU NEED TO CHANGE THAT!

December 28, 2013, he took oath. Today, it’s January 16, 2014. Mr. Kejriwal is now 19 days old in the office of the chief minister of Delhi.

The slate, though delicately balanced on spots of positives and negatives, has not much to claim. And that is worrying because the Aam Aadmi Party should not fail and Mr. Arvind Kejriwal should not go down the political, social and communication annals as a co-opted and compromised activist and political reformist.

Yes, it is ridiculous to write anything in just 19 days when the other political parties have taken decades but have failed to perform. But writing here is about the valid concern over the ‘possibility of the renewed hopes of the common man failing so soon’ because the politics promised by AAP is the need of the day and so there has to be an intense scrutiny on every step by the stakeholders involved; because AAP does raise expectations about a ‘politics of change’, something that has been a rare event in Indian politics.

And though AAP is running out of time with just two months in office before the Lok Sabha poll-schedule is declared enforcing the model code of conduct thus debarring any more steps to be taken, we, the voters, have already run out of time. So, this concern has valid grounds.

Yes, the slate that looks delicately balanced in favour of AAP has corrosive elements that can easily alter the way the public is going to perceive Mr. Kejriwal and the AAP government in Delhi.

Yes, an AAP government in Delhi headed by Arvind Kejriwal – it is just the beginning of the formative phase of AAP and if the perceptions go wrong now, if they get the negative hue in this phase, the formative phase can easily become the summative phase eating up the consolidation and expansion phases.

And the signals from these 19 days are worrying.

The AAP government rode to the Delhi Secretariat on big promises. And from the day-1, from December 28, it looked to be in motion to fulfill them.

But the way it has moved so far puts the very intent under scanner. The way it has moved so far indicates more of a rush to lure the voters somehow before the Lok Sabha elections.

The biggest one on power tariff saw a temporary measure with subsidy compensating for the reduced bill amount. Free water is even more costly beyond the insufficient cap of the free monthly usage. And both of these measures are not uniformly distributed. They target some sections of the population while ignore some others.

Mr. Kejriwal and his team have had a series of flip-flops on cracking down on the VIP culture that easily outdo the quantum gains, if any, of this promise in the initial 19 days.

Their symbolic efforts to use the Delhi Metro for the government inaugural ceremony or the high cost involved in organizing the ceremony at the Ramlila Ground or their repeated ‘yes and no’ on availing the ‘earmarked’ government accommodations and vehicles, or the miserably failed show of organising a Janta Darbar to hear public’s grievances at the Delhi Secretariat where Mr. Kejriwal was coordinating the show from the rooftop while public was buzzing around aimlessly and helplessly, or a ‘sincere’ effort of a young colleague of Mr. Kejriwal’s cabinet to glamorise a small incident as a security threat to her, or the episodes of the repeated theatrics of Vinod Kumar Binny and AAP, have raised question marks on AAP’s and Arvind Kejriwal’s intent.

Yes, it has been just 19 days. Mr. Kejriwal, you have time to write your rulebook on how you and AAP are going to be perceived in the coming days, in the days of electoral chaos of the Lok Sabha polls and the days beyond that.

We have got worrying signals in these 19 days, and more worrying is the prospect that these signals look to get gloomy even more. Mr. Kejriwal, you need to change that.

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