The Delhi High Court today ruled that the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi has primacy over its elected chief minister in administrative, especially the matters related with land, law and order and high level bureaucratic appointments from the central pool.

The High Court bench headed by its chief justice also ruled that the L-G is not bound by advice of the council of ministers in Delhi and the Delhi government must convey its decisions to him as well should take his approval.

As expected, the Aam Aadmi Party has rejected the decision with Manish Sisodia saying that though the AAP respects the High Court decision, the party cannot accept it, and will appeal in the Supreme Court against it. The High Court essentially ruled that Delhi is a union territory. But Sisodia says Delhi is in a special category as it is both – a union territory as well as it has an elected legislature – and therefore needs a different, special treatment.

Yes, Delhi has a special status and needs a special treatment. But that is exactly what makes AAP’s stand weaker here.

Due to unique nature of Delhi, being a city-state and the national capital of India, it is governed by different set of laws than other Union Territories including Puducherry. The different set of laws derive from the Indian Constitution, different provisions of the GNCTD Act and the Transaction of Business rules and the Union Government has a serious stake in running it.

And that it does through its representative, the Lieutenant-Governor.

Many important administrative aspects of Delhi including its law and order, security apparatus and lands are with the Union Government. Delhi Police and Delhi Development Authority are not under the Delhi CM. All three municipal corporations of Delhi are ruled by the BJP.

Everyone knows the Centre cannot give full statehood to Delhi, cannot give Delhi Police under Delhi government and cannot leave the subject of land to the state government in a state that is also the National Capital of India. Even Sheila Dikshit, Kejriwal’s predecessor, could not achieve full statehood or could not get Delhi Police under her control even if she had three full terms in office and even if Congress led the Union Government from 2004 to 2014.

Delhi is a half state and is also the most important Indian city where people of national and international importance reside and the Delhi Police and its local intelligence apparatus form the important outer layer of security. The Union Government has its many important offices here including the high level command centres of our security forces. It needs to maintain and develop infrastructure for them. It needs people who can act as bridge – the communication conduits between the Union Government and the Delhi Government. The bureaucrats fit here. Any unilateral control of them would compromise this channel. That is why the pragmatic approach to run this city-state lies is in reconciliation within the democratic norms.

Delhi’s ruling politicians and bureaucrats, so far, have found a mid-way to get out of the situation arising out of this segregation of responsibilities – of two power centres in the Capital. Even Tejendra Khanna, the previous L-G, was not a titular head even if Congress had governments, both in Delhi and at Union level. We all know the stories of his and Sheila Dikshit’s rivalries.

And Delhi has to be governed like that, with an approach to take everyone on board, even if it means ceding some political ground to the Lieutenant-Governor.

Kejriwal wants to change that. He wants supremacy of his elected government. He wants Delhi Police under his control. He wants Delhi to be recognized as full state. During his previous term of 49 days, he even sat on a protest for it. And the ongoing episode of controversial spats with the Delhi L-G has its origin in his such aspirations.

The confrontationist approach will not work in a democracy. Kejriwal needs a practical approach. He needs to work with the Union Government for the development of Delhi to consolidate his gains first. Instead, he has chosen confrontation – closing the doors. He is indulging in a fight that he cannot win. He is indulging in a fight that is ethically not right.

The controversy that began with the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin, the former acting secretary of Delhi, will see its conclusion in the Supreme Court now as the AAP made its intent clear today.

That may be a blessing in disguise because laws governing Delhi presents a shady, grey area that has divided even the Constitutional experts. The top court ruling in that case would be the final word then.



Saw the Aam Aadmi Party’s (Arvind Kejriwal’s) advertisements on a ‘news channel’ today.

And felt so confident after watching it that ‘the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal are on highway of success’.

And it is for the betterment of the masses and the classes that they want to take it further to them, to tell them – to communicate to them the good work Mr. Kejriwal is doing – so that it reaches far and wide – so that it reaches to ‘every possible family’.

After all, unlike the family in this advertisement, there are many families who don’t feel Kejriwal has done anything significant so far to affect their lives, even if there is a sea-change – at least to do while expressing themselves publicly.

They are so adamant that they are not believing even Kejriwal and it is hurting the good samaritans of the ‘good samaritan sort of party’. After all, they are not doing it for name, fame and money. They are doing for social well-being. They are doing it for the ‘politics of change’ to change ‘themselves’.

Therefore, it is a commendable act. I thought to do an analytical appreciation of the advertisement frame by frame but could not locate it on online platforms including YouTube and the AAP website. Hope, it will be here today, allowing me to do, what was left midway last night.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


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 –


The metamorphosis to a ‘full-time mainstream politician’ – the mainstream that was bashed left, right and centre by Arvind Kejriwal when he had announced to take political plunge on August 3, 2012, before ending his fast – is complete now.

How fast Kejriwal has graduated to it, how efficiently he has donned the different manipulating colours of Indian politics of the day, is self evident when we align his speech that he had delivered while announcing his political foray in August 2012 to the text of the purported tape that emerged yesterday where he is heard hurling abuses on Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, the two senior-most founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party and the anti-corruption platform that Kejriwal so ‘politically’ used to become a ‘full-time politician’.

Here are the key excerpts from his August 3, 2012 speech: (NDTV)

“We have no great love for entering politics. Our aim is not to grab power, but to end the Delhi-centric government and take governance to the villages and the people. Ours will not be a party, but a movement. Ours will have the structure of an andolan, and be what the people want.”

“There will be no party high command and the people will select the candidates. We will go among the farmers and the people and ask them about their problems. They will tell us about their problems and their solutions. We will also go among the youth and ask them about their problems and ask for solutions. Likewise, we will go around the entire country and meet people. They will form the ghoshna patra (manifesto).”

“Our aim is not just to win the polls, it is to challenge all the political parties. I have a vision that in three years, India will change,” he added. General elections will be held in India in 2014.”

Cut to March 2015.

Kejriwal is ‘loudly’ among them now, sitting comfortably in the lot that happened to be the ‘main spark’ for his political plunge.

The excerpts from the latest AAP sting, on Kejriwal, makes it self-evident. Here are the disturbing echoes from the tape: (The Times of India)

Umesh: But I feel that there are problems because you have been kept away. Sir, please get involved.

Arvind: I didn’t come for this kind of fighting. I have no interest in it. You work with Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. My best wishes are with you. I have not come to fight. If the need arises, then I am thinking of leaving Aam Aadmi Party and forming another party. You manage Aam Aadmi Party. It is a very good team, Prof Anand Kumar…In the past four days, Prof Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha have done kaminapanti, they are so kamina. They said implement RTI, we said alright, we are ready. A dialogue was still on between the two groups then. They said volunteer participation…we agreed to all the demands. And now yesterday they said they were just bargaining. ‘We don’t have any interest’…are you so kamina! What bargaining are you doing? Are you such cheap people? What you call my less capable team is made of pure men. We might be less capable but we have a clean heart. You have a malicious heart and are kameene log. So best wishes to you Umesh.

Umesh: Sir, don’t think like this.

Arvind: No, listen, listen, listen. I don’t want to have any further discussion on this which is why I have kept myself away from this. Now let’s see what they are doing, otherwise I will take my 66 MLAs and break away. You run Aam Aadmi Party. I will have nothing to do with Aam Aadmi Party.

Umesh: Sir please understand, this is not about you or me, this is about the country.

Arvind (shouting): What drama is this that we should all work together? Go speak to them. Un saalon ne harane mein…what you are calling a good team left no stone unturned to ensure that we lost the Delhi election. Now we should take them along? If they were in any other party, they (un saalon ko) would have been kicked out by now. Kameene log hein woh ek number ke. I don’t know what they are.

Umesh: Sir I am not able to see things from that close or understand.

Arvind: Then don’t speak if you can’t see, alright.

From – ‘not a party but a movement’- from – ‘no party high command’ – from – ‘aim is not to grab power’ – from – ‘only about people’ –- to – ‘kaminapanti, they are so kamina’ (bastards) – to – ‘a party synonymous with just one person’ – to – ‘not about people but about Kejriwal’ – to – ‘a high command that is as opaque and dictatorial as any other one person/one family political party – a big letdown – in just two years and eight months.

Kejriwal claimed in 2015 that he had a vision that India will change in three years. Now, it is not even three years and his polity says it is he who has changed his ways to align himself to the political mainstream.

It is not that Arvind Kejriwal has failed the ‘common man’, the ‘aam aadmi’, for the first time. He did it in December 2013 when he formed an ‘opportunistic government’ in Delhi with Congress’s support. Next he did so by deserting Delhi to try his political luck in the parliamentary polls.

With a loss of face there, he again came to the questionable ways of mainstream politics by trying poaching MLAs from other parties to form the government (as yet another sting with his voice purportedly revealed).

All this while he had a benefit of doubt that these were the honest mistakes of an activist-turned politician who was learning ways to make inroads in Indian politics. Coupled with the BJP’s lackluster show on running Delhi during the Central rule in the National Capital Territory of India, he made a blockbuster comeback in the February 2015 Delhi assembly polls.

Arvind Kejriwal and his party projected it as the triumph of the ‘aam aadmi’.

But the developments since then clearly tell us that Mr. Kejriwal has failed the common man once again.

It was not that all was well in the AAP. There were reports of internal rift during the Lok Sabha polls and in the period before and during the the campaigning phase of the Delhi assembly polls.

It is not that Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were beyond doubt but what Kejriwal did, what followed in the AAP meeting today, clearly let the common man down.

By orchestrating all that happened today, killing internal democracy and crushing voices anti- to him in his party, Kejriwal has betrayed the common man finally.

Because, at any cost, what he is heard speaking on the tape and the drama that he curated today, cannot be accepted, when his political base begins with opposing the mainstream of Indian politics, when he seeks political entry on a ‘promise of politics of change’.

If the AAP was at all a politcal movement as Kejriwal had claimed in August 2012, it is effectively dead now.

The politician Arvind Kejriwal, who abuses his colleagues and crushes political dissent in his party with iron grip, has lost the benefit of doubt that he enjoyed till the Delhi assembly polls.

And it is bound to reflect on upcoming electoral events.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


In 2012, Arvind Kejriwal had taken a different path away from Anna Hazare when he had announced his political entry using the platform of the anti-corruption movement of 2011.

He had claimed to cleanse the politics of politicians ‘polluting and ruining’ it.

He had promised a politics of change, of high standards, of no compromises, of absolute transparency, of hope, and of what not.

While taking the dip, he sounded like a social activist who was ready to graduate to political activism.

The writings on his political plunge began and sustained with regular mention of ‘Kejriwal and the AAP Vs mainstream politicians and political parties’ – the entrant Vs the established.

Like it happens, like the ‘writing precedents’ go, the lot Kejriwal comes from are written as the off-stream (or new stream), heading in to take on the ‘mainstream’.

Now, with a self-aborted first term of 49 days, a political foray in its third year, a humiliating loss of face in the general elections 2014, and a second term with a rare electoral win and absolute majority in the Delhi assembly polls, he has started sounding more like the ‘mainstream’.

The win, propelled momentously by the BJP’s poor show on development parameters in Delhi during the Central rule (February 2014 to February 2015), has, it seems, unleashed the ‘mainstream politician’ in Arvind Kejriwal, an alter-ego that was waiting to emerge from the shadows.

Like a very seasoned ‘mainstream’ politician, he stage-managed the ouster of the two senior-most founder members from one of the apex decision making body of the AAP, its political affairs committee. He was in the city, but didn’t attend the meeting where his fans inside the party threw the thorns away.

Whatever is the background behind the hostile sentiments of Kejriwal supporters for Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, it cannot be denied that these two founder-members would have posed real threat for Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘mainstream political ambitions’. Among the many demands of them was ‘asking Kejriwal to leave the AAP convenor position’, a move that would have paved the way for emergence of more power centres in the party with its impending national expansion.

Now, we are well aware of Kejriwal’s national and prime-ministerial ambitions, something that could well be the ambitions of many others in the AAP.

Like Kejriwal saw a brilliant opportunity in the half-baked mandate of the Delhi assembly polls 2013, that fell short of majority, to go national, he would have read with certainty that the absolute mandate is a spectacular opportunity to launch the roadmap for the prime-ministerial ambitions again.

For that, he needs to run the AAP the way he thinks, conceives and proposes (and even opposes).

For it, he needs iron grip on the party, removing obstacles (including people), who could question his authority.

For it, he needs a cult around him in his party where he reigns supreme and others follow him verbatim.

And, it looks, he has started it with sidelining Yadav and Bhushan.

Also, like a ‘mainstream’ politician, he maintained a deliberate and stoic silence while his party was going through the internal churnings.

He left for Bangalore immediately after removal of Yadav and Bhushan from the AAP PAC and spent some 12 days there undergoing treatment for his lifestyle related illnesses, looking (or overlooking) the developments in his party in Delhi and elsewhere.

Tapes and sting-ops came out where Kejriwal was talking like a ‘mainstream’ politician to score political goals. Tapes also came out that showed his party members snooped on own colleagues. Activists like Mayank Gandhi protested the way Bhushan and Yadav affair was handled by the party. Activists like Anjali Damania left the party alleging (like many others who have left in the past) it had gone off-track. Media analysed the whole panorama day after day. Experts wrote about and thinkers criticised the high handedness.

But, Arvind Kejriwal was not heard all this while.

Like a ripened politician, Arvind Kerjiwal now either doesn’t speak or speaks only politically correct, the way ‘mainstream’ politicians prefer to do.

The developments so far tell us he is well on the way of converting the AAP into a one-man party (like many others in India).

And in the light of the recent developments so far, the ‘reported and projected’ political pragmatism of taking Congress’s support to form the government in December 2013 gives way to the counterpoints that it was always a ‘mainstream political move’ pushed by political opportunism.

The developments so far tell us the ‘mainstreaming’ of the politician Arvind Kejriwal is almost complete now.

He is sounding and acting like more and more of ‘them’ now.

And Kejriwal is fast losing the elements that have given him, so far, the benefit of doubt to still be treated as a political activist, an off-stream politician beginning a political journey within the system, to meet the challenges, to deliver on his promises.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Yesterday, Arvind Kejriwal lost the milestone opportunity by playing a la Congress in staying atop all platforms of the Aam Aadmi Party.

with it, the next step in the journey to the metamorphosis of becoming the routine Indian politician of the day was taken by him yesterday.

The signs that Kejriwal aspired to adore his image outreach shadowing all and that he wanted to maintain a tight grip on the political outfit he launched along with many others from the Anna Hazare led anti-corruption movement of 2011 was clearly visible in his first stint of 49 days that he later self-aborted.

Delhi was then inundated with oversized publicity displays of Kejriwal, like every other politician does, the very politicians who Kejriwal derided day in, day out. In fact, in doing so, he had surpassed even her predecessor, Sheila Dikshit.

It was not at all expected from a common man, risen from a movement to seek respite for common men, to go uncommon the way every common man detested.

With his ‘apology outreach’ for ‘deserting Delhi in just 49 days’ and the BJP’s relative non-performance in Delhi that was under the Central rule after Kejriwal’s resignation, he roared back to the power in Delhi with a rare mandate, with the AAP winning 67 of the 70 assembly seats.

It was expected this time that he would respect the mandate given to him by the ‘common man’ by staying a ‘common man’ – millions of this country oppressed under manipulative elements of its functional democracy who see their lives eclipsed regularly.

Yes, it cannot be said that he has failed our expectations.

But it will not be premature if we say that within a month, hostile signs have started emerging on the horizon beyond which lies a political oblivion for Arvind Kejriwal, the activist who became a politician.

The signs, if further continued, will tell us the activist was left somewhere in a ‘nowhere zone’ by the politician in Kejriwal and was never looked back at.

The reports that Arvind Kejriwal stage managed ouster of the two senior most founder members of the Aam Aadmi Party, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, from one of its apex decision making bodies, the political affairs committee, are ominous for those ‘common man’ hopes as they tell Arvind Kejriwal is well on the way to become ‘uncommon’ for them.

The kind of penchant for public display as visible during his first term has already found its extension with his second term in the office. And since the mandate is absolute and is for five years, we are going to see more and more of Arvind Kejriwal on nooks and corners of the Indian National Capital.

Also, he has shown no inhibitions like the last time. He was hooted for opting a luxurious accommodation and had to make a U-turn. Some of his ministers were in news for their ‘VVIP-ness’. This time, the baggage is efficiently discarded. He is moving to an official bungalow. His ministers are following the suit with availing facilities that are routine.

Now, only time will tell if the removal of these symbolic ‘tenets’, that are hugely appealing electorally as they connect directly to the ‘common man sentiments’, are going to have any functional value.

For the moment, the developments tell us again that Arvind Kejriwal had different plans of graduating to a full time ‘mainstream politician’ once he got the much needed lease of political life again. His prospects were badly hit after he left Delhi the last time and he needed a decisive mandate to start all over again.

And a ‘more than decisive mandate’ he got.

Yes, we cannot say so early that he has failed us.

But, the signs of a ‘politician with a mainstreamed thinking’ acting ‘the common man’ way for some ‘purpose’ that were visible even during his first term, have certainly got ‘telling’ manifestations now.

Anyone speaking against him, no matter how senior that colleague is, is shunted or is forced to find his way out of the party. No one in the AAP can question Arvind Kejriwal without facing repercussions. The party has seen exodus of many big names in the last one years. They were either disenchanted as they felt the party was on a wrong way or they felt suffocated with the lack of internal democracy.

‘It’s Kejriwal’s way or the highway in the AAP’ has become a routine source of political discourse centred on the two year old party.

And such developments tell the AAP is on the way to become a one-man party and Kejriwal is in the line to follow the politicians running one-man parties as their family empires.

Its Kejri_all so far – the signs so far tell us so.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


How asymmetrical the whole exercise on addressing the internal differences in the Aam Aadmi Party has been becomes clear from a look on Aam Aadmi Party’s website, its Twitter Page and its Facebook feeds.

Arvind Kejriwal is having a pervasive presence all around there. These screen-shots of AAP website, Facebook and Twitter pages are self evident.





Yes, there may be the counterpoint that he is the most popular face and has just led the party to a historic win in the Delhi assembly polls, and therefore it is only natural to put him as the mascot of the party on maximum possible platforms. Arguments like ‘people love him and so he is there’ would fly high on hostile questions. And they would be accompanying the central plank that ‘communication platforms on internet are not the places to write about difference in the party. They are tools to engage people on party’s vision and policies and to express party’s views on different developments’.

Yet, there are elements clearly visible that belie all such counterpoints.

Apart from the routine stuff, like talking about the party and its spread, its electoral scales, its views on social and political developments and its Delhi panorama, the website also gives space to the AAP voices critic of those criticising Arvind Kejriwal. The AAP website prominently mentions Sanjay Singh’s criticism of a ”group within the party’ to destabilize it while the ‘critic voices’ like Yogendra Yadav or Prashant Bhushan don’t find any space.

Whatever that happened in the hours long meeting of the AAP today was already scripted and had to come with this outcome only.

Yes, its scale was not known, like how many would oppose the ouster of Yadav and Bhushan. But now as the things are out in open, we find that six of the 19 who votes in meeting today supported Yadav and Bhushan. And it is not a healthy sign for Arvind Kejriwal.

And given the lopsided nature of this exercise, if we come across extensions of it, it would be on the expected lines.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


“He, the poor man, he was toiling in lanes, asking for forgiveness for his act of resigning in only 49 days while promising to work on corruption. Going by those 49 days we believe he will reduce electricity and water prices to make our lives easier. While he was struggling hard, making us feel he was one among us, she (Kiran Bedi) was travelling with caravan of vehicles, like a queen, seldom coming down to talk to the people.”

This observation by a female domestic help when Aam Aadmi Party’s numbers were shooting up on the day of counting on February 10 tells the triumph of the party as well as the challenges it faces ahead.

Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party have got another lease of life and another opportunity but they need to read the message write.

Before basking in its glory, they need to undo their doings, their mistakes so far, the mistakes that have been in the realm of ‘to be forgiven’.

In a miscalculated and unethical move, he suddenly dumped Delhi to explore the higher political ground in national politics. The ambitions, initially limited to contesting selected researched seats, went unbound and the party fought on 432 seats. There was no organization outside Delhi. Candidates had no resources to sustain. And there were no senior leaders available to campaign. Whatever little resource the party had, was mostly invested in Varanasi, where Arvind Kejriwal decided to pit himself against Narendra Modi, a certain defeat from the day one.

The result was earth-shattering for Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party. The party made an electoral record with most of its candidates losing their deposits.

Then, the man Arvind Kejriwal, had become bigger that his party and his ego had enveloped itself in a cult of his personality. Kejriwal traces his political origin to a hugely successful anti-corruption movement by the civil society, yet his political initiation looked undermining that when he started behaving like the seasoned politicians of the day whom he targeted and made core of his ‘politics of change’.

The mandate again, and a historic mandate, that is more of a BJP loss than a testimony of Kejriwal’s deliverability, is to make people believe that those were the initial bumps of the political initiation of a group of people with no political experience.

And for that, the Aam Aadmi Paty government in Delhi headed by Arvind Kejriwal must perform first, and to the scale that could reciprocate the sentiments of the people like the domestic help mentioned in the beginning lines of this write-up.

To achieve that, Kejriwal must kill every of chance of him becoming a cult in his party and for his supporters.

He must work with the spirit that politicians seldom show – as people’s servant as they have elected him to represent them and act on their concerns.

Yes, that is like asking too much, but then a young politician who traces his political roots in social activism and swears by the ‘Aam Aadmi’ (common man), has to understand the meaning of the mandate given to him.

It was a mandate of a demanding electorate that decided to punish the BJP for its non-performance during the nine months Delhi was under the Central rule under the NDA government since May 2014. The electorate was more miffed with the BJP’s non-performance than Kejriwal’s deserter act and when it came to elect its representatives again, it decided to go with the alternative that had shown traces of delivering.

With his ‘we did commit mistake’ apology while requesting people to judge him and his party by his work of 49 days and what he could do based on that if he was given the full five years delivered for him.

There were indeed millions, from the poor in the slums, from lower and middle income areas, street vendors, auto drivers, traders, who experienced extortion and corruption free days when police, MCD and routine office corruption (even in regional transport offices) were effectively kept in check. AAP’s water and power subsidies were implemented as promised.

For voters, oppressed under a system that makes corruption a part of life, these steps were big enough to ignore the wrongs of AAP then (and even now). And the thought of having such days for full five years proved to be a big motivator for Delhi voters.

But that doesn’t say the AAP was a perfect choice.

People chose him and his party because they looked promising on delivering if given a full term while the BJP failed to deliver even after a historic mandate in the general elections of 2014.

People voted for his party because he was able to position himself differently – as a commoner who know where the shoe pinches.

And there lies the danger for Kejriwal.

If he is not reading the fine print of the mandate given to him by Delhi’s voters, he is going to face the same predicament that the BJP is in – in Delhi.

People would not hesitate in rejecting a cultist, bigger than his party Arvind Kejriwal.

Kejriwal should try to do all to keep the day away when his supporters like this domestic help are forced by him to make observations like ‘we miscalculated him or we ill-judged him or he proved to be just yet another politician or we regret our decision to vote him in’.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Arvind Kejriwal, the eighth, the youngest and the second time Delhi chief minister has not kept any department with him.

It may be a well thought step for some sincere reasons, if they are indeed the underlying reasons here.

A massive mandate like this, 67 of the 70 assembly seats, comes with equally high expectations.

The mandate has also shown the public is getting impatient and the window of time that a political party has to deliver is getting unpredictably short. Delhi, being seen as run by the BJP under the Central rule, has said Narendra Modi decisively that his government’s performance is not in line with the promises made. And it thought eight months were enough to judge it.

….not in line with the promises made — now that is a dreaded proposition with an electorate getting more demanding and thus reactive to express the displeasure….

Politicians must perform and need to come out with a high percentage mark-sheet.

After what happened to the prospects of the BJP in Delhi, and with the huge responsibility that comes with a massive mandate like this, Kejriwal must act ‘miraculously, or in a way so far not witnessed in Indian politics’ to meet the expectations.

And he needs to do so within the span that the public decides for him – to build on the ‘miraculous’ mandate, as he defined it thanking God – to save his political constituency.

Being in Delhi, every act of the Aam Aadmi Party government will face heavy media scrutiny and even a slight error would be enough to incite the chain of events potent enough to dent the credibility of the government. After all, Kejriwal should not have forgotten the huge public backlash last year after he decided to accept the VIP accommodation as Delh’s CM while deriding others for the same.

Kejriwal’s overseer act as the chief minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi can be seen from this paradigm.

He needs to see the resources – financial capital, social capital and manpower – are to be optimized for maximum output – and implementation must be swift and credible and honest.

And probably, he thought the best way to ensure that was to ensure that others follow the way ahead with ‘zero error and total precision’ commitment and a taskmaster was needed to keep them in line.

Probably, Arvind Kejriwal saw that taskmaster in himself.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–


The absolute mandate, 67 of 70 seats in Delhi assembly, a rare event in free democratic elections anywhere, has made the mandate a make or break event for Arvind Kejriwal.

It was visible in his speech when he tried to sound as polite as he could, attributing his party’s win to God saying only God could bestow upon such miracles.

The politeness may well be a progressive thought after the events of past one year when he dumped Delhi to try hand in national politics but was forced to come back to Delhi to find the lost ground. He practiced tolerance. He exercised humility. He apologized like a child apologises to the family members.

And he raised hopes, like he had done the last time. He promised the people of Delhi sky when the resources to fulfil them were not under his control. Delhi is a half state and the union government, in this case Narendra Modi led Bhartiya Janata Party’s government, controls Delhi’s lands and urban planning, law and order and traffic. Also, Delhi cannot make laws (than passing bills) unless the Centre gives them nod.

That makes fulfilling the populist promises (cheaper electricity, free water and education, houses for weaker sections, free wi-fi and so son) efficiently while improving on development (and thus raising generation of funds) a miraculous and so far unheard of aspect of governance in India.

Had it not been for a spectacular mandate like this, the party would be in a position to weather the backlash more politically – on missing the targets.

But, as characteristically un-political a mandate this is, going so far by the electoral history of India, the repercussions may come out to be equally unprecedented.

If Arvind Kejriwal and AAP perform in Delhi, they will comfortably be on the way to capture the political space of a major national party.

If Arvind Kejriwal and AAP fail Delhi’s trust, they will be wiped out, only to be remembered as a ‘two-elections, one-full term political aberration’ in India’s electoral history.

The backlash will be as spectacular as the mandate is.

Arvind Kejriwal realizes it. He must realize it.

And if we have not heard of ‘such miraculous governance so far in India’, it doesn’t mean it is impossible.

Arvind Kejriwal should be thinking and preparing to act like this.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–