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

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/

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE HAPPENED TO BE AN ‘AAM AADMI’!

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE WAS AN ‘AAM AADMI’

Once upon a time, during initial days of his political career, the ‘Aam Aadmi’ of Delhi, with a pan-India ambition, saw the opportunity in quickly metamorphosing his ‘activism to political activism’.

Once upon a time, there came a day, in an ‘alternative-hungry’ country, when he reaped unexpectedly rich dividend, taking his entourage to power corridors of Delhi.

Once upon a time, during those days of his first stint with ‘political power’, he realized his aspirations were much bigger and Delhi’s office was much smaller.

Once upon a time, after a brief experiment with his political initiation and the experience thereof, that ‘Aam Aadmi’ came to the conclusion that he had a distinct advantage that placed him in a better position – something that other ‘mainstream’ politicians couldn’t use – he could brand his style of politics as ‘political activism’ and he went to the extent to use such words like ‘anarchy’ or indulged in ‘unlawful but populist’ acts.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when he left people of Delhi for greener political pastures.

Once upon a time, after deserting Delhi, he saw the next big opportunity in Varanasi, but the decision backfired.

Once upon a time, after his political initiation and political experiences in Delhi and Varanasi, he was left with no other option but to head back to Delhi, the city that he had just deserted.

Once upon a time, while thinking so, he was also supported by such thoughts like what he did was quite common in Indian politics and with his ‘skill of saying sorry’, he could resuscitate his ‘political career’ in Delhi again.

Once upon a time, there came a time, after his ‘profuse flow of sorrys’, when Delhi not only resuscitated him, but made him the absolute ‘political king’ for five years. Obviously his political rival, including BJP and Congress, helped significantly in it.

Once upon a time, after regaining his political career and Delhi’s power corridors, that ‘Aam Aadmi’ decided it was ‘the time’ to come out of the garb of ‘political activism’ and practice ‘mainstream Indian politics’ full time.

Once upon a time, there came a day in his almost three year old political career, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ had the opportunity to shed his ‘mainstream political inhibitions’ finally.

Once upon a time, the day came finally in his ‘political life’ when he graduated to the grand narrative of Indian politics by throwing away people who could pose challenge to his hold over the party of ‘Aam Aadmis’ – and he did so in style and in one go.

Once upon a time, there came the day when he could finally crush the internal democracy in his party of ‘Aam Aadmis’.

Once upon a time, there came a time in his almost three year old political career, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ felt now was the time go full time ‘VVIP’.

Once upon a time, there came the next step in the political career of that ‘Aam Aadmi’ when he started acting, sounding and practicing ‘Khaas Aadmi’ the way Indian politicians do.

Once upon a time, while conceptualizing his future political roadmap, that ‘Khaas Aam Aadmi’ thought he could still follow greener pastures and the best way to do so was sounding ‘Delhiite’, while at the same time, engaging in confrontational politics with other ‘powers-that-be’.

Once upon a time, there came a time when that ‘Khaas Aam Aadmi’ began on the next step of his political journey in full throttle, junking all his previous promises that he made in the name of ‘political activism’- VIP culture, Jan Lokpal, anti-corruption fight, Aam Aadmi sort of life style, etc.

*’Aam Aadmi’ – Common Man
**’Khaas Aam Aadmi’ – Special Common Man

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

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE WAS AN ‘AAM AADMI’

Once upon a time, there was an ‘Aam Aadmi’.

Once upon a time, he sounded like an ‘Aam Aadmi’.

Once upon a time, he decided to fight for some cause.

Once upon a time, he decided that the cause would be the ‘Aam Aadmi’.

Once upon a time, there came a time, when he started extending his fight through television sets.

Once upon a time, there came a time, when he thought enough was enough.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when saw the next opportunity to further the cause.

Once upon a time, on one fine day, he decided the board a Delhi Metro train to Noida.

Once upon a time, on that day, and the days that followed, he kept himself absorbed in an assignment to raise a moment.

Once upon a time, during those days of intense conceptualizing, some people along with Anna Hazare came together and formed a group to start an anti-corruption struggle.

Once upon a time, there came a time in his life, when he could successfully be the part of that group where all claimed to be ‘Aam Aadmis’ and they identified an issue that ‘resonates with every ‘Aam Aadmi’ in India – corruption’.

Once upon a time, at that time, they chose to name their movement ‘Jan Lokpal’ agitation.

Once upon a time, under the banner of that movement, the team of ‘Aam Aadmis’ could build a strong anti-corruption movement mobilizing people across the country.

Once upon a time, with that movement, the team of ‘Aam Aadmis’ could force the government of the day to come to the negotiating table.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ could see the next opportunity – the opportunity that required him to take a different approach from some of his teammates.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ saw where the ‘next’ opportunity could take him and he decided to take political plunge.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ formed the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’.

Once upon a time, there came a day, very early in his political career, when he saw his emergence as the most popular leader of that ‘Aam Aadmi Party’.

Once upon a time, during initial days of his political initiation, he felt the need to draw his preferences accordingly.

To continue..

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE HAPPENED TO BE AN ‘AAM AADMI’!

*’Aam Aadmi’ – Common Man

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

IRONY IS THAT WE ARE FORCED TO ‘NOT BELIEVE’ ARVIND KEJRIWAL NOW..

Like always, in recent times, Arvind Kejriwal did something even this time that again brought satirical flavour to words that didn’t want to flow for him – like it has been happening for quite some time.

It is a sad old story now that Arvind Kejriwal, his political foray, his political party (AAP-Aam Aadmi Party) and his AAP government in Delhi, have been an absolute letdown from the ‘aspirational high’ of the ‘prospect of moral high they claimed to practice’.

He, his ministers, his MLAs and his ‘non-legislative’ party members have no qualms in presenting themselves as super VVIPs now – something that has been a political benchmark in India. They have even surpassed their political brethren in decorating themselves with ‘government positions (or positions on offer from the government)’ thus feeding on taxpayers’ money – freely and unaccountably.

Delhi is a small state, a half-state, a city state, but its largesse is ‘larger than life’ for this government of ‘common people’ that had claimed to be the ‘one-stop’ solution for ‘all woes of the common man’.

Instead, it is turning fast into a nightmare.

The AAP government in Delhi and the overall political culture besetting the party is like another ‘one-stop’ shop that plays with the electorate’s emotions/impulses to get its way in and which then forgets what it owes to the electorate for the rest of the tenure.

And why it hurts more in case of AAP?

Because we have more than enough bad reasons/negative developments to talk about it in its brief political history than any other political party of the day, especially when the party was trusted and entrusted by the electorate to fight the ‘prevailing political culture with multiple malaise’ – a political culture that is now AAP’s very own.

And continuing the ‘seemingly episodic endlessness’ here, he is again sharpening on his ‘pet demand’ of giving Delhi Police under him – amply magnified by the spate of unending law and order issues in the national capital – giving him thus the opportunity to hone his skills in his favourite pastime acts, i.e., targeting Narendra Modi, Union Government, Delhi’s L-G Najeeb Jung and Delhi Police – and not running and governing Delhi – that we all had so high hopes about. They will not take it, the deepening negative public opinion, but the acts like ‘over Rs. 500 crore publicity’ budget or dictatorial expulsion of many leaders from the party or the party’s frivolous stand on the Delhi’s Lokayukta would come back to haunt the party when it goes out to ask for votes again.

Two minor girls have been raped in Delhi and it is really, really worrying for all of us. Crimes against women and rape incidents across India are a blot on our national conscience and we need to desperately check the crisis, something where we have failed miserably so far.

But the irony is that we are forced to ‘not believe’ Arvind Kejriwal when he tweets asking the prime minister to ‘stop being stubborn and work with him’ and demanding again that ‘Delhi Police and Delhi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau’ be given under him.

Yes, the burden of incessant rape cases is unbearable but when Arvind Kejriwal politicises each and every development to further his own agenda, reacting contrary to the way he used to react, blaming Sheila Dikshit’s government for deteriorating law and order situation in Delhi, we cannot help the satirical ‘expression’ that naturally comes to our faces.

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

NOW WHO WILL BUY IT? NO ONE. EXCEPT AAP.

Well, today was another step in the ‘unravelling’ saga of the uncommon common man Arvind Kejriwal and his uncommon ‘common men’ party, the Aam Aadmi Party.

After presenting a budget that was not innovative enough to the promises he had made while he was asking for votes (apart from hiking budgetary allocation on education), his government today hiked the upper limit on the Value Added Tax (VAT) in Delhi by 10%.

That gives the Delhi government, led by Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party, flexibility to ‘manoeuvre”. Now, what will they ‘manoeuvre’, only they know. On its part, the government is saying the move is not about ‘price increase’.

Now who will buy it?

No one.

Except the AAP.

And there are reasons behind it.

In the run-up to the elections, the AAP announced many populist sops including free Wi-Fi, schools, hospitals, free water and low electricity tariff. The overall list is long and beyond scalable limits. Even Arvind Kejriwal admitted, after winning the absolute majority, that he was not looking at fulfilling ‘all the promises’ he had made.

Now, all that requires money and Kejriwal has already started the process, by subsidizing electricity and water. There are no innovative proposals to raise more money to fund these ‘populist measures’ but empty rhetoric like the one Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister, proposed today. His ‘common sense’ wisdom told us today that a common Delhiite was able to save some money (in thousands) thanks to his government’s anti-corruption efforts.

So, the ‘common’ Delhiites have more monetary resources to meet the ends now – with the AAP’s grace. That eases some of the burden of the populist promises. For others, some that the government wants to meet in light of the upcoming polls, with continuation of the most populist measures like subsidies of water and electricity, there are flexible ‘manoeuvrability’ measures like the one proposed today.

No one is buying the government’s arguments and reports have already started saying that prices are to set to increase after the AAP government hiked the upper limit of the VAT from 20% to 30%.

On the contrary, the first policy move of the government post ‘Swaraj’ budget is set to increase prices of cooking fuels and fuel oils. That will have a cascading effect on other items for sure – as another ‘common sense’ wisdom says.

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