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.